A woman accused of killing her husband to escape an abusive marriage has been hanged in Rasht Central Prison, reportedly at the hands of her estranged daughter.
Maryam (Massoumeh) Karimi had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder of her husband 13 years ago, together with her father, Ebrahimi Karimi.
Sources told Iran Human Rights (IHR) that the husband was “abusive, physically violent and wouldn’t consent to a divorce. The father, who had no other way of saving his daughter, helped her in killing him.”
On February 22 this year, IHR reported that the pair had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions after having a last visit together. The execution was carried out by her daughter today, March 15, after an unexplained delay.
Those close to the case also told IHR that the execution was carried out because the victim’s “next of kin”, her daughter, had declined to forgive her or accept diya (blood money) instead of retribution. But, they added, “Maryam’s daughter was six years old when the murder took place and has been in the care of her father’s family [since then].
“For the past 13 years, they had told her that both her parents were dead. But they had to tell her the truth a few weeks prior to the execution to prepare her psychologically.”
In murder cases where the defendant is sentenced to qisas, the plaintiff or the victim’s “next of kin” must also be present at the scene of execution. Since Iranian law considers qisas the right of the plaintiff, family members of the murder victim are encouraged to carry out the actual execution themselves.
“After carrying out Maryam’s execution,” a source told IHR, “they brought her father, Ebrahim Karimi, to see his daughter’s corpse hanging on the noose. But for unknown reasons, they didn’t execute him and he’s due to be returned to the general ward in the next two days.”
Iran Human Rights has condemned the execution and called again for the “inhumane” retribution sentences to be repealed, together with the legal provisions that place responsibility for execution on the plaintiff’s shoulders.
Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “The Islamic Republic’s laws make a girl, whose father was murdered when she was a child, the executioner of her own mother. The Islamic Republic is the leading promoter of violence in Iranian society today.”
The current legislation in Iran also makes no distinction between murder and manslaughter, meaning those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of the circumstances and intent.
At the time of writing, Maryam Karimi’s execution had not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.