Iran: 2 More Prisoners Executed at Rajai Shahr Prison Yesterday

Feb. 18, 2021, 10:01 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHR); February 18, 2021: Yesterday, it was reported that seven prisoners had been executed at Rajai Shahr Prison. New information shows that in fact, nine prisoners were executed at the prison yesterday.

Yesterday, Iran Human Rights reported news that seven prisoners, including one woman, had been executed at Rajai Shahr Prison in the early hours of the morning. Newly obtained information shows that two further prisoners who had been transferred from Fashafuyeh Prison, were also executed yesterday.

The two prisoners were transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison from Fashafuyeh Prison for their executions in a group of three prisoners, who had all been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. The identities of the two prisoners have not been established at the time of writing.

Among those executed yesterday, was a female prisoner named Zahra Esmaili who had been transferred to the prison for her execution from Qarchak Prison. Her transfer had taken place two weeks prior and it is not clear why her execution was delayed.

Speaking about the case, civil activist, Reza Khandan told IHR: “Zahra Esmaili had been accused of killing her husband. Initially, both Ms Esmaili and her daughter were detained together. Ms Esmaili accepted responsibility so her daughter would be released but later denied it.”

He continued: “Zahra Esmaili’s husband was in law enforcement and appears to have had moral problems and been abusive in different ways.”

Nasibeh Shamsaei, civil activist and former political prisoner told IHR: “From what Zahra described in prison, her husband was a torturer at the Ministry of Intelligence. She told me that my husband was mentally incompetent and used to do very immoral things at home. Even his relationship with his own children were not healthy and moral. He sometimes made his children watch inappropriate videos. Zahra was incredibly kind and polite. She visited with her lawyer (Nemat Ahmadi) and once quoted him as saying that the Ministry of Intelligence had promised not to let her be executed. According to Zahra, even other members of the Ministry of Intelligence didn’t have a good relationship with him.”

The other six male prisoners executed yesterday, had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions from various wards at Rajai Shahr Prison. The identities of two of the men have been established as Mohammad Chezani from Ward 1 and Ali Badrloo.

At the time of writing, domestic media and officials in Iran have only reported Zahra Esmaili’s execution.

According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder."

As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of intent and the circumstances.