Leila Zarafshan, the 95th woman executed during Hassan Rouhani’s presidency

Leila Zarafshan

By Alliance of Iranian Women Staff


On the morning of Thursday, September 26, 2019, a woman named Leila Zarafshan was hanged in the Sanandaj Central Prison. She is the latest recipient of capital punishment under the misogynistic mullahs’ regime, currently presided over by the “reformist’ president Hassan Rouhani. As with similar previous cases, the woman’s execution was not announced in the regime’s state-controlled media.

Zarafshan had been imprisoned for five years on charges of murdering her husband. Research on women who murder their husbands, in Iran, indicates that the women are almost always victims of domestic violence.

The Khomeiniist regime holds the record for top number of executions per capita in the world. It uses the death penalty as a tool for maintaining its power, and for silencing a disgruntled populace, the majority of whom live under the poverty line. Their inhumane verdicts of execution, flogging, and long prison terms, particularly for women, are issued by a biased, theocratic judiciary.

With the execution of Leila Zarafshan, the number of women executed during Rouhani’s presidency has reached 95. Seven of these women were executed over the last three months.

A 38-year-old woman was executed in Mashhad Central Prison, on August 25, 2019. Four women were executed over eight days in July. Maliheh Salehian  was hanged in the central prison of Mahabad, Zahra Safari Moghadam was hanged in the Prison of Nowshahr, and Arasteh Ranjbar and Nazdar Vatankhah who had already spent 15 years in prison, were hanged in the Central Prison of Urmia.

The actual number of executions in Iran is much higher than what gets reported, because the majority of executions in Iran are carried out in secret, hidden from the eyes of the press and public.