Young Woman Burned to Death by Father in what Islamic Penal Code Deems “Honor Killing”

Early on Sunday, October 3,  news spread on social media of a young woman who was burned to death by her father in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Province.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has identified the victim as 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki, who had been living in Dolat-Abad (Kurkureh), a village in Sanandaj county.

Reportedly, after she passed away in hospital, her father was beaten by some people, which led to the arrest of some of these attackers.

“Faezeh Maleki got divorced shortly after her marriage,” an informed source told HRANA. “Thereafter, she wanted to marry a young man but his parent disagreed with this marriage. Once some pictures showing the continuation of their relationship came into the hands of her father, he punished his daughter by burning her with gasoline.”

In a post on social media, the victim’s surgeon announced her death and mentioned having a boyfriend as the reason why his father committed this crime. He said that her father is still free. Thereafter, his post was taken down for unknown reasons.

“They send her to hospital but medical team could not save her life and she passed away from severe injuries,” the source added. “Some furious citizens beat her father, who is drug-addicted, in Eghbal Square in Sanandaj. Police detained the father and some of these attackers.”

According to Islamic penal codes, the severity of a sentence in cases of homicide is in large part determined by the wishes of the “blood avenger”, or closest relation to the victim. If a father is convicted of killing his child, however, he can then act as his own “blood avenger”, which almost always results in a significantly lighter sentence.

Typically, a father convicted of killing his child be sentenced to “Weregild payment” and relatively short imprisonment. As case investigations have shown, this system has at times encouraged parents to commit such so-called “honor killing”, because they are aware of the sentence leniency that will be afforded to them if convicted.

Shahrooz Sokhanvari Sentenced to Death for International Human Trafficking

Shahrooz (Alex) Sokhanvari and the second defendant in the lawsuit were sentenced to death by a branch of the Revolutionary Court on charges of ‘international human trafficking’ and ‘corruption on earth’.

According to HRANA, the news agency of human rights activists, Sokhanvari was arrested abroad last year and deported to Iran from Malaysia. He has been charged by the Iranian judiciary with trafficking women for sexual exploitation.

In this law case, the first- and second-degree defendants, both known as “Alex”, were sentenced to death and 5 other participants were sentenced to 15 years in prison. The verdict of the case is not final and can be appealed in the Supreme Court.

In recent years, several women who had been identified as his accomplices have been arrested and are being held in jail on serious charges.

Iran ranks first in the world in citizen executions per capita, according to international organizations. The Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) reported that between January 1 and December 20 of 2020, at least 236 citizens were executed.

One of these citizens was executed publicly, and two were juvenile offenders. An additional 95 citizens were sentenced to death. According to the same report, more than 72% of executions in Iran are not reported by the government or the judiciary, which human rights organizations call “secret” executions.

Inmate Dies of COVID After Facing Medical Negligence in Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Today, Wednesday, September 22, Ms. Giti Haj Rahimi died of COVID in the quarantine section of Ward 9 of Qarchak Prison in Varamin after facing medical negligence from prison authorities.

According to HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists, Haj Rahimi had been convicted for financial crimes. HRANA has verified Ms. Haj Rahimi’s identity.

Ms. Haj Rahimi, who had been serving her sentence in Ward 6 of Qarchak Prison, was recently transferred to a solitary confinement cell for quarantine after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Ms. Haj Rahimi was also diabetic and had previously lost one of her fingers to this disease during her imprisonment.

Haj Rahimi’s death has not been announced by the Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

Revolutionary Court Sentences Farzaneh Zilabi, Defense Lawyer for the Haft Tappeh Workers’ Case, to One Year in Prison

Farzaneh Zilabi, the defense lawyer for the Haft Tappeh workers’ case, was sentenced by the Ahvaz Revolutionary Court to one year in prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting EMTEDAD, in addition to the prison sentence, Zilabi has received a two year ban from leaving the country.

Nasser Zarafshan, Farzaneh Zilabi’s lawyer, commented on the sentence.

“Regarding the charges against my client,” Zarafshan said, “‘gathering and collusion’, ‘spreading lies’, and ‘insulting the leadership’ were acquitted by the Revolutionary Court but she is sentenced to one-year imprisonment and two years ban on leaving the country on the charge of ‘propaganda against the regime’. This is the verdict issued against my client in the primary court.”

Zarafshan added, “The previous order on Ms. Zilabi’s six-month ban from practicing law has apparently been dropped.”

On May 16 of this year, after Farzaneh Zilabi’s interrogation session in the Ahvaz court, Nasser Zarafshan stated that “Besides issuing a bail, the case investigator has issued a six-month ban from practicing law for Ms. Zilabi” and had mentioned that his client, Ms. Zilabi, is “paying for the defending the Haft Tappeh workers”.

Concern Increases about Political Prisoner Zahra Safaei’s Condition Following her Transfer to Unknown Location

On Saturday, September 4, political prisoner Zahra Safaei was transferred from prison to an unknown location following a heart attack.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Safaei was being held in Qarchak Prison in Varamin until  her transfer.

Neglect of Ms. Safaei’s condition, especially after her recent heart attack and poor physical condition, has raised concerns among her family. She had also been transferred to Sattari Hospital in Qarchak last week on the order of a prison doctor but was returned to prison without medical treatment.

Ms. Safaei was summoned in July 2020 and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin the next day since she was not able to provide the required bail of ten billion tomans.

In January of this year, Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Mehdi Shahmirzadi, sentenced Ms. Safaei to 5 years in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the national security”, one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, and 2 years in prison on the charge of “insulting the leadership and founder of the Islamic Republic”.

She was also sentenced to a ban from leaving the country and from joining political parties and social groups.

Zahra Safaei has a history of arrest. She spent time in prison as a social-political activist in the 1980s. Her father was executed in the 1980s for supporting MEK.

Safaei’s location and fate are unknown as of this writing.

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Husband Confesses to Murder of 14-Year-Old Mobina Souri

Five days after news broke of the death of 14-year-old Mobina Souri, her husband confessed to having committed the murder. Souri is the victim of  what is classified under Islamic Law as an “honor killing”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, “honor crimes” or “honor killings” are acts of assault or murder, usually towards women and usually committed by male relatives.

Under Islamic Law, in murder cases where the (usually-female) victim has been accused of “disgracing the family’s honor”, exemptions and sentence reductions are frequently granted to the murderers.

The scope of the ways “disgracing family honor” can be defined is extremely broad; women and girls can be accused for being victims of rape, getting a divorce (even from an abusive husband), committing adultery, or being suspected of having sexual relations before marriage.

14-year-old Mobina was also a victim of child marriage and was married to the young cleric in her village who ultimately killed her. The other suspects were released after the husband confessed.

 

14-Year-Old Mobina Murdered in Lorestan in what Islamic Penal Code Classifies as “Honor Killing”

On Monday, August 30, 14-year-old Mobina, who was from the Suri area of Lorestan Province was murdered by a family member in what is classified under Islamic Law as an “honor killing”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, Mobina was the victim of a child marriage who was married to a young cleric in her village. She was murdered after relatives presumed she had an affair.

Under Islamic Law, in murder cases where the (usually-female) victim has been accused of  “disgracing the family’s honor”, exemptions and sentence reductions are frequently granted to the murderers.

“The murder happened due to family disputes, and the accused has been identified and arrested,” said the Lorestan police chief. “He is one of the relatives of the victim.”

“Honor crimes” or “honor killings” are acts of assault or murder, usually towards women and usually committed by male relatives.

The scope of the ways “disgracing family honor” can be defined is extremely broad; women can be accused for being victims of rape, getting a divorce (even from an abusive husband), committing adultery, or even just having sexual relations before marriage.

Elmira Habibi goes on a Hunger Strike in Urmia Prison

On Saturday, August 28, a defendant named Elmira Habibi went on a hunger strike in the women’s ward of Urmia Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, 33-year-old Elmira Habibi,  a native of Urmia, was imprisoned after being convicted of financial crimes.

Ms. Habibi has been on a hunger strike to protest her unfair trial and the lack of accountability from officials.

Maryam Ebrahimvand Arrested by Security Forces in Tehran

On the morning of Sunday, August 22, Maryam Ebrahimvand, a director, filmmaker, and former prisoner, was arrested by security forces and taken to an unknown location.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, she was released after a couple of hours interrogation.

According to a close source to Ms. Ebrahimvand, she had gone to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to seek permission for her confiscated films, and was arrested in front of the Ministry’s building in Tehran.

“A few months ago,” the source told HRANA, “Ms. Ebrahimvand was told by the Ministry of Guidance that after receiving a letter working ban from the IRGC,  it is not possible to grant permission for her films.”

Ms. Ebrahimvand had previously been detained and convicted. IRGC intelligence agents arrested Ms. Ebrahimvand in September 2016. After 35 days, she was released on  a bail of 300 million Tomans from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center, Ward 2A, Evin Prison.

Nearly two years later, in July 2018, Ms. Ebrahimvand was arrested again after being summoned to Branch 4 of the Culture and Media Court. She was transferred to Ward 2A of the IRGC, and then was transferred to prison a month after interrogations ended, while a bail of 10 billion Tomans was issued for her.

Ms. Ebrahimvand, who had been detained in the Women’s Ward of Evin Prison from July 2018, was sentenced by Branch 1059 of the Government Employees’ Court to ten years in prison in November of last year on charges of “making a vulgar film”, “insulting the President”, and “spreading lies against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”.

In the second part of her case, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to 6 months in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime,” and in the final verdict, she was sentenced to a total of ten years and six months in prison.

Ms. Ebrahimvand was finally informed of her release in June of this year after appearing before the Culture and Media Court.

Maryam Ebrahimvand is a writer, film director, and producer of “Comedy of Love”, “We Are All Alone”, and “Girls’ Boarding House”.

Atena Daemi Denied the Right to Make Telephone Calls in Lakan Prison in Rasht

Civil activist Atena Daemi is being denied the right to make phone calls in Lakan Prison in Rasht.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Daemi went on a hunger strike on August 12 in protest of repeated telephone cuts and prison mismanagement.

She ended her strike on August 17 following the fixation of telephone cuts, and the release of prisoners whose release was delayed for weeks. Now, however, it appears that prison authorities are once again denying the activist phone access.

Ensieh Daemi, Atena’s sister, said on her social media page, “They have taken Atena’s phone card, and they have deprived her of the right to contact us. After being six years in prison, Atena could guess [knew] that they may deprive her of making phone calls, but she was happy that the phone cuts will be fixed, and the rest of the prisoners can make phone calls, and freedom will be restored.”