Thursday, December 20, 2007
Iran: Woman's execution postponed12/20/07
Iran: Woman's execution postponed
Amnesty International Public Statement
The execution of Raheleh Zamani has reportedly been postponed until around 2 January 2008. She had been due to be hanged in Evin Prison, in the capital, Tehran, on 19 December 2007 (not 20 December as previously stated) for the killing of her husband.
Raheleh Zamani, a mother of two children aged five and three, was sentenced to qesas-e nafs (retribution in kind) in October 2005 for the murder earlier the same year of her husband, Mohammad, whom she alleged was having an extra-marital affair. Raheleh Zamani reportedly said in her defence that she was threatened with violence by her husband each time she asked him to end his affair. She said that she had never meant to kill her husband, but just wanted to "teach him a lesson". A month and a half prior to the murder, Raheleh Zamani had given birth to her second child, a son. She may have been suffering from severe post-natal depression. Her husband's family had refused to accept diyeh (blood money). However, it is believed that the postponement of Raheleh Zamani's execution follows a decision by her husband's family to give her two weeks in which to raise the money for the payment of diyeh. The amount of money in question is not known to Amnesty International.
Raheleh Zamani is believed to be held in Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran. On 19 December, one woman and three men were hanged at the prison. This brings to six the total number of women believed to have been executed in Iran in 2007. In addition to Raheleh Zamani, two other men were also spared execution in order to give them the chance to raise diyeh.
Executions in Iran have increased sharply in 2007, particularly in the wake of a crackdown on "social vices" which was announced in April and has continued to date. Amnesty International has recorded at least 310 executions to date, some of which have been in public, including some multiple hangings.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:
- seeking clarification of reports that the execution of Raheleh Zamani has been postponed until around 2 January 2008, to allow her to raise the money needed for the payment of diyeh;
- calling for Raheleh Zamani's death sentence to be commuted;
- stating that you recognize that governments have a right and a duty to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but stating your unconditional opposition to the death penalty, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life;
- asking for details of her trial and any appeals, including how the judge determined that she had committed pre-meditated murder;
- urging the Iranian authorities to bring Iranian legislation into line with their international human rights obligations, so that people sentenced to death for murder have the right to seek pardon or commutation of their sentence from the state.
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: www.president.ir/email
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri,
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)
Email: email@example.com (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.