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The Iranian regime executed a woman at dawn on Wednesday, September 23, bringing the total number of women executed there since supposed moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013 to at least 108
Mahtab Shafii, 32, was hanged in Gohardasht Prison (aka Rajaiishahr prison) in Karaj. She was detained for seven years in Qarchak Prison on murder charges, but even this is suspect due to the fact that the regime does not classify murder according to degrees.
As many Iranian women are subjected to domestic violence with no legal recourse to get their abuser arrested, have a restraining order, or even obtain a divorce, they risk losing everything, including their children, by leaving, or staying and possibly losing their lives. Thus, many Iranian women, suffering from battered person’s syndrome, kill their attackers in self-defense.
Political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee wrote in July 2019: “In meeting women convicted of murder, I learned that a large percentage of them had murdered their husbands —instantly or based on a premeditated plan—after years of being humiliated, insulted, battered and even tortured by them and because of being deprived of their right to divorce. Although, they consider themselves criminals but are convinced that if any of their repeated appeals for divorce had been granted, they would not have committed such a crime.”
As of writing, none of Iran’s state-run media outlets have announced Shafii’s execution, indicating a potential cover-up. Indeed, the reason we wrote at least 108 women have been executed is that the regime has a habit of executing people in secret to make their record seem better.
Not that it’s working. Even when just relying on reported statistics, Iran is the largest executioner per capita, with the world record for the executions of women and minors.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has published lists of the women, mostly mothers, detained on death row in Qarchak Prison and the Central Prison of Urmia, as well as of all the women executed during Rouhani’s presidency, noting that another woman had her death sentence upheld on September 21.
Their information is gathered from the state-run media, human rights activists, and private sources across Iran, but they admit it can never account for the full picture.
The Women’s Committee wrote: “The Iranian regime open-handedly uses the death penalty as a form of punishment. In many cases, the religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and women are targets of the death penalty in a discriminatory manner.”
In 2019, the regime hanged 16 women, with six executed in December alone.
The Iranian Resistance has long called for the death penalty to be banned in Iran.