The Iranian regime hanged a woman and her husband in Qazvin Central Prison at dawn on Sunday, 30 May 2021, bringing the total number of women executed during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani to 118; an average of 15 per year over the past eight years.
The couple were identified by their last name – Pir-Ostovan – but their first names were not known, with the state-run media not yet reporting on it. The pair were arrested in 2013 on the Qazvin-Karaj Highway and given the death sentence on their first court hearing.
Mrs Pir-Ostovan is the first woman to be executed on drug-related charges, which is not a capital crime under international law, since the law around punishment of those crimes changed in 2017 with an amendment that banned executions on drug charges.
The death penalty is one way for the Iranian mullahs to keep their hands on power because they hope that this will intimidate the public and keep them from protesting out of fear for their lives. Due to the restive society, the regime cannot even pause these executions in the run-up to the 2021 Presidential election on June 18.
The world leader in executions per capita and of women actually increased executions because the mullahs know that their rule’s stability is precarious. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has already been consolidating power by having his Guardian Council eliminate all but seven presidential candidates out of over 500. He wants to do anything to keep his position.
Over 4,300 people have been executed in Iran under Rouhani, but it’s important to note that because of the regime’s secrecy around statistics that make them look bad, the true figure may be much more.
One of the most recent victims of the regime’s unfair executions was Kobra Fatemi, executed on May 23 in Yazd Central Prison.
The 41-year-old, who was the 117th woman executed under Rouhani, had been in jail since 2015 on the charge of murdering her husband. His family had agreed to receive blood money to save her from execution, but his uncle, a Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) member, requested that the execution go ahead.
As the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have said repeatedly, many women accused of murder in Iran are victims of domestic violence who snap after years of abuse with no way to legally escape such a horrific home life. The Judiciary doesn’t categorize murders based on motivation and treats them the same as a cold-blooded killer.