Execution of women in Iran continues.

The Regime’s Misogynist and Inhumane Use of the Death Penalty

MEK supporters during a rally ask for an end to executions in Iran

On October 26, 2018, Iranian state news reported that the regime had executed the 88th woman under President Hassan Rouhani. The woman, identified only as Soudabeh, had been imprisoned for 12 years after standing accused of murder. It is still unclear where the execution took place.

The execution came just a few weeks after the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet criticized the regime for the high volume of executions. Bachelet reiterated that the UN opposes executions in all circumstances. It reminded the regime that no jury in the world is immune from making mistakes.

Women Facing the Death Penalty

Across Iran, dozens of women are on death row. Many are accused of political crimes, including for supporting opposition group the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Others are facing charges for murder in self-defense or during episodes of domestic violence. Under the extreme laws of the Iranian regime, in cases of murder carried out for self-defense, the victim must face charges and retribution for the killing.

Eight women are on death row in Iran’s infamous Urmia Grand Central Prison. Their names are:

  1. Chenar Salehi,
  2. Yasna Sadeqi,
  3. Arasteh Ranjbar,
  4. Nazdar Vatankhah,
  5. Tahmineh Danesh,
  6. Farideh Hassanpour,
  7. Shelir Khosravi,
  8. Somayeh Ebrahimzadeh.

A further eleven women face the death penalty in Varamin’s Qarchak Prison. Their names and charges are as follows:

Azam Maleki has been detained for eight years, charged with the murder of her brother-in-law and nephew-in-law.

Narjes Tabaii has been detained for three years, charged with the murder of her husband’s second wife.

Fereshteh Shirazi has been imprisoned for five years, charged with the murder of her mother-in-law (the victim was the sister of Assadollah Lajevardi, the infamous warden at Evin Prison known as ‘the Butcher’).

Tahereh Noori has been detained for 12 years, charged with the murder of her husband.

Roya Amirian has been detained for 14 years after allegedly murdering a man harassing her in the street.

Mahtab Shafii has been detained for three years, charged with her husband and mother-in-law’s murders.

Mahboubeh Rasoul, has been detained for seven years, charged with the alleged killing of her mother-in-law.

Mahnaz Agahi, has been imprisoned for seven years, charged with murdering her husband.

Soghra Eftekhari, has been imprisoned for ten years, charged with murder during a conflict.

Eshrat Nazari, has been imprisoned for six years for allegedly killing her husband; Samira Sabziyan.

Misogyny has been enshrined and institutionalized in the regime’s laws. Many other countries, even those with capital punishment laws, protect women from receiving the death penalty when they are acting in self-defense against an abusive family member. However, the Iranian regime affords the victims no such protection.

The names of these women in Qarchak should be a beacon for human rights groups around the world. They illustrate inhumane and unjust laws employed by the Iranian regime and highlight the growing need for penal reform and the abolishment of the death penalty across Iran.

Staff writer

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