Baluch Woman Sentenced to Death for Drug Offences in Kerman

March 28, 2022, 7:10 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); March 28, 2022: Zarkhatoun Mazarzehi, a Baluch woman, has been sentenced to death on drug-related charges by the Kerman Revolutionary Court.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, Branch One of the Kerman Revolutionary Court has sentenced a Baluch woman called Zarkhatoun Mazaheri to death for drug-related offences.

According to relatives, she was notified of the judgement on March 15 while behind bars in Kerman Central Prison and has already appealed the decision which will be re-examined by the Supreme Court.

Zarkhatoun Mazarzehi, born in 1977, is from Saravan in Sistan and Baluchistan province and resident in Khash, according to Haal Vash. A widowed mother of one, she was arrested at a checkpoint in Kerman province on 30 December 2017.

Speaking to Iran Human Rights, a relative said: “She didn’t have access to a defence lawyer at the time of arrest. Her family are just now raising money to hire a lawyer for her.”

“Zarkhatoun Mazarzehi has made no confessions. She didn’t know anything about the drugs they found. She had agreed to carry raw materials for cosmetics which she believed to have issues at customs, and has said at every opportunity that she wasn’t carrying drugs. Ms Mazarzehi was the breadwinner, her husband died of tuberculosis,” the source added.

Iran is one the world’s top executioners of women. In a 12-year report of “Women and the Death Penalty” published on World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2021, Iran Human Rights provided a comprehensive analysis of the execution of women.

According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2020.

On December 10, Iran Human Rights warned again of the rise in drug-related executions, which is now at a four-year record high and called on the international community for a prompt reaction.