Raisi continues to issue death sentences
Execution and killing: ominous words that are synonymous with Raisi’s name
Last month, Ebrahim Raisi was designated the clerical regime’s next president. He has no skills but committing crimes, acts of cruelty, executions and killing. This is how he has moved up the hierarchy of power.
On June 19, Amnesty International published a statement in which the AI Secretary-General Agnès Callamard, said, “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran…”.
Execution of women during Raisi’s tenure
The Iranian regime makes extensive use of the death penalty. Execution is the regime’s tool for maintaining its rule. The “killing strategy” for this regime is not limited to political activists or its opponents. Rather, from 2013 to 2021, with an average execution rate of 15 women per year, the regime’s killing strategy covers all segments of society.
Since Raisi was appointed head of the judiciary in 2019, at least 30 women have been executed in Iran.
Many other women – mothers, often of multiple children – are awaiting execution in prison.
Political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee wrote a letter on July 27, 2019, in which she described women who were sentenced to death for murder: “In meeting women convicted of murder, I learned that a large percentage of them had murdered their husbands — voluntarily or in a pre-meditated manner — after years of being humiliated, insulted, battered, and even tortured by them and because of being deprived of their right to divorce. However, they are convinced that if any of their repeated appeals for divorce had been granted, they would not have committed such a crime.”
In the Central Prison of Urmia, 12 female prisoners are on death row. One of them is Mohabbat Mahmoudi, a 64-year-old who has 5 children. She has been on death row for the past 20 years. She has been deprived of furlough for 18 years.
Mohabbat Mahmoudi was arrested on April 21, 2001, on charges of murdering a man who broke into her home. He was armed with a knife and intended to rape her.
She was arrested and has been detained in Urmia’s Central Prison since then. She went on furlough only once for several days, 18 years ago.
On the day of the incident, Mohabbat and her daughter-in-law were at home. At 8 a.m., Hatam Mahmoudi Gonbadi, armed with a knife, broke into the house with the intention of raping Mohabbat and her daughter. He stabbed Mohabbat three times in the side and abdomen. He refused to leave the house. Mohabbat pointed a gun at him, firing inadvertently. The trespasser died of gunshot wounds.
When police officers arrived at the scene, the knife was still in the victim’s hand. Nonetheless, the court sentenced Mrs. Mahmoudi to death.
Victims of execution and killing during Raisi’s tenure
- On October 2, 2018, Zeinab Sekaanvand, 24, was hanged in the Central Prison of Urmia.
Zeinab Sekaanvand was from a small village in Makou, in Western Azerbaijan Province. She had been forced into marriage at the age of 15. For two painful years, her husband beat her daily. She was 17 years old when arrested on murder charges.
This Kurdish woman was a minor at the time of the murder. International laws ban the execution of minors. Zeinab Sekaanvand was a victim of poverty and the clerical regime’s misogynous laws, which allow early and forced marriage of girls.
On October 1, 2018, Amnesty International issued a call to the regime for a stay of execution for Kurdish-Iranian prisoner, Zeinab Sekaanvand, in the Central Prison of Urmia. The clerical regime, however, ignored international calls for a stay of execution and sent the young woman to the gallows.
- Zahra Esma’ili was executed in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj on February 17, 2021. She suffered a heart attack and died shortly before her execution. Nonetheless, officers hanged her dead body. Zahra Esma’ili’s lawyer announced that prison authorities in Iran had hanged the lifeless body of his client, who had suffered a fatal heart attack prior to being executed.
“Today, I saw Zahra Esma’ili’s death certificate. The stated cause of death was heart failure,” Omid Moradi tweeted, on February 19, 2021.
According to Esma’ili’s lawyer, the prisoner had personally witnessed 16 other hangings, which prompted her heart attack before she was taken to the gallows.
Zahra Esma’ili was an innocent woman. She had claimed responsibility for her husband’s murder to save her teenage daughter, who had shot him in the head.
Alireza Zamani was a managing director at the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence. He routinely mistreated and battered his wife and children. He used to take different women home, in front of his family members. He had even threatened to kill his wife and attempted to rape his own daughter.
As a result of his brutal behavior, his daughter killed him, with the help of her brother.
Zahra Esma’ili’s execution was an inhumane retaliation by agents of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence.
- On December 27, 2020, Zeinab Khodamoradi was hanged in the Central Prison of Sanandaj. The 43-year-old had been imprisoned for 5 years. She suffered from mental imbalance and nervous disorder. Her family could not afford to pay the 700 million Tomans set as blood money for the victims, sending her to the gallows.
The executions of women are but a small part of Raisi’s bloody record of execution and killing in Iran. Raisi is implicated in many past and ongoing crimes under international law.
Regime officials and security forces have enjoyed blanket impunity under Raisi’s tenure as Chief Justice to carry out mass arrests during protests, and unlawfully subject hundreds of people to killing, forced disappearances, torture, and other ill-treatment.
Given that, Raisi’s rise to power is the outcome of a fraudulent electoral process that was neither free nor fair; the international community must not recognize this mass murderer as president.
The UN Security Council needs to urgently arrange for an international tribunal to prosecute Ebrahim Raisi for his crimes against humanity in 1988. He must face justice for his crimes before and after the 1988 massacre as one of the Judiciary’s most senior officials.
The people of Iran will never forgive nor will they ever forget the 1988 massacre and the crimes committed by the murderous mullahs in Iran! The call for justice movement will continue until the perpetrators of these horrible crimes are brought to justice.