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How to Avoid Being Executed for Being Raped

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Somayeh Shahbazi Jahrouii (Photo: Iranian opposition groups)
Somayeh Shahbazi Jahrouii (Photo: Iranian opposition groups)

An Iranian woman was executed for the crime of killing a man she said was trying to rape her.

Somayeh Shahbazi Jahrouii, age 33, served six years in prison for her “crime,” before she was hanged on December 4.

Jahrouii’s family says that after the murder, Jahrouii panicked, took the body out of the city and set it on fire.

Tragically, there was one way Jahrouii’s family could have saved her, but they were unable to do so. According to Iranian law, the family of the man who was murdered had the right to forgive Jahrouii or demand blood money (diya).

In Jahrouii’s case, the man’s family demanded $1 million from Jahrouii’s family to forgive her, an amount which was impossible for Jahrouii’s family to amass.

Thus, without the money, Jahrouii became the 98th woman that was hanged during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani (according to official figures).

Iranian law does not categorize deliberate murders according to their degrees; hence, anyone committing murder – regardless of the circumstances — is sentenced to death. Many women convicted of murder in Iran have themselves been victims of violence and have committed murder in self-defense.

The case resembles that of Reyhaneh Jabbari who was executed in 2014 for killing a senior Intelligence Ministry official she said was trying to rape her. Despite an international campaign for her release over her seven years in prison, Jabbari was executed in 2014 at the age of 26.

The Iranian regime executes more people per capita than any other country. At least 4,000 prisoners have been executed during Rouhani’s terms in office. However, anti-regime activists contend that the actual number of executions are much higher because the majority of executions in Iran are carried out secretly, away from the public eye.

This story was brought to Clarion Project’s attention by Bahareh Zare Bahari, an Iranian former beauty queen and outspoken critic of the Iranian regime. Bahari was recently granted asylum in the Philippines, where she went to study dentistry.

Iran demanded Bahari’s extradition, claiming she had assaulted someone in the Philippines, a crime of which Philippine authorities had no knowledge.

With the exception of Iranian opposition sites in English, the above story received no mention in the Western press.

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