The IOPHR strongly condemns the execution of the innocent prisoner Ms. Zahra Esmaeili and 16 other prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, on the 17th February 2021.

Zahra Esmaeili’s lawyer, Omid Moradi wrote on his Facebook page that Zahra Esmaeili suffered a cardiac arrest and died in a state of shock, after seeing the execution of 16 other men who had been executed before her eyes. Despite this, the execution of Ms. Esmaeili’s proceeded and her lifeless body was hanged.

Ms. Zahra Esmaeili was executed on the false charge of murdering her husband. According to published reports, she was the wife of Alireza Zamani, a corrupt official of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who repeatedly assaulted his wife and daughter. It was in the face of such attacks and abuses, and in an act of self-defence that the daughter of Ms. Zahra Esmaeili shot her father.

Given the series of attacks by Alireza Zamani on his wife and daughter, one should note that Ms. Esmaeili’s decision to take responsibility and the blame for her daughter’s killing of her father, is simply a mother’s only way to protect her child, based on natural and maternal sentiment.  Thus, if the Iranian judicial authorities had followed all legal procedures, and paid attention to the matter, and the series of brutal attacks by Alireza Zamani, they should have acquitted Ms. Esmaeili of the charge of premeditated murder.

It should also be noted that since the beginning of this year, more than forty people have been executed in Iran. As a result of these series of executions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has already reached the highest number of executions in the world this year, with an average of one execution occurring per day.

Moreover, last year, the authorities of the ruling regime in Iran once again registered the highest per capita execution rate in the world with the execution of more than 250 people.

Consequently, it seems that the successive defeats for the Islamic Republic of Iran in various military, political arenas, and in the field of international relations, as well as recent diplomatic scandals, and the revelations about the involvement of diplomats of the Islamic Republic of Iran in various terrorist operations around the world has forced the regime to increase the speed of its execution apparatus in Iran.  In order to avenge its failures, as well as a means of covering the negative blow back from the scandals inside the country, all at expense of innocent Iranian citizens who are executed.

Accordingly, the IOPHR once again draws the attention of all human rights activists, and the international community to the rampant and increasing rapid number of executions in Iran, and calls on all democratic governments to put pressure on the Iranian Regime by suspending their political, economic and diplomatic relations with the ruling regime in Iran, until the Iranian regime puts an end to its executions of its innocent citizens.

The International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights

London, Brussels, Berlin, Toronto, Washington

19 February 2021

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