In yet another inhuman crime, the Iranian regime executed another woman in the lead-up to 2021. She and her family’s struggle to provide $28,000 blood money failed at the latest moment.
On December 27, Iranian authorities executed 43-year-old Zeinab Khodamoradi at Sanandaj Central Prison in Kurdistan province, western Iran. According to human rights activists, she was from Qorveh county.
The human rights association No to Prison – No to Execution reported that the State Security Forces (SSF) had detained Zeinab Khodamoradi for killing her children on August 31, 2015—meaning that she spent more than five years on death row.
“Given the pressure applied by her husband and while she was in dire mental condition, this woman killed her 12-days-old son Mohammad Javad and her husband’s seven-year-old daughter Hadis,” human rights defenders said.
Zeinab Khodamoradi later attempted to commit suicide, but at the last moment, she failed, according to No to Prison – No to Execution. “Before committing the crime, she had written on her foot that ‘because of her husband and his mother and sister, I end my life and children’s lives,” activists acknowledged.
In October, authorities transferred her to solitary confinement to implement the death sentence. However, her husband’s family had agreed to revoke the death penalty in return for 7 billion rials [$28,000] as Dieh [blood money in the Islamic Republic’s constitution]. Finally, this unfortunate woman could not provide this massive money until the specified deadline.
According to official statements, Iran has the highest number of executions per capita. However, it carries out around 77 percent of death penalties secretly, according to opposition activists. There is no precise figure for the number of victims, and both the government and judiciary refuse to announce the actual statistics, which are occasionally leaked by human rights groups or activists.
On the other hand, the government exerts additional pressure on ethnic and religious minorities in the Kurdish region, in the west of Iran, and Sistan and Baluchestan province, in the country’s southeast. Simultaneously, women and girls endure more pressure due to the ayatollahs’ outdated thoughts while their testimonies, legacy rights, etc., are systematically considered half that of a man.
In this respect, the number of suicides is noticeably high among women and girls in these areas. According to global bodies, Iranian women are the record-holder of suicide attempts in the Middle East, and they regrettably succeed in many cases. This unfortunate record is mostly because of economic pressure, which leads the families to marry off their underage girls.
Furthermore, the Iranian government has executed at least 17 women in 2020, bringing the total number of implemented death penalties to 256 cases. Zeinab Khodamoradi’s death penalty was carried out while many netizens called on the authorities to spare prisoners’ lives during a Twitterstorm with the hashtag #StopExecutionsInIran on December 27.