By Pooya Stone

Iran executed a woman on Sunday in Mashhad, according to the state-run ROKNA news agency.

The unnamed woman, who was supposedly found guilty of murder, was hanged at dawn on August 25 in the Central Prison of Mashhad.

She was the 94th woman executed in Iran since alleged moderate Hassan Rouhani became President in 2013.

The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has condemned this execution, saying that the woman was the victim of the Iranian regime’s misogynist laws and policies, as well as their destruction of the economy.

The NCRI Women’s Committee called on international human rights and women’s rights organizations to intervene to end the death penalty in Iran.

They cited Rule 61 of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules), which reads: “When sentencing women offenders, courts shall have the power to consider mitigating factors such as lack of criminal history and relative non-severity and nature of the criminal conduct, in the light of women’s caretaking responsibilities and typical backgrounds.”

Iran executed at least four women in a period of eight days in July including:

• Maliheh Salehian from Miandoab who was hanged on charges of murder in the Central Prison of Mahabad, Kurdistan on July 16

• Zahra Safari Moghaddam, 43, who was hanged in the Prison of Nowshahr, northern Iran, on July 17

• Arasteh Ranjbar and Nazdar Vatankhah, relatives who had already spent 15 years in prison on the charge of murder and complicity in murder, who were hanged in the Central Prison of Urmia, northwestern Iran, on July 23

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman said, in a report circulated to the UN General Assembly on August 16, that 2018 saw continuing violations of the Iranian people’s right to life, liberty and fair trial, with at least 253 executions of adults and children. He said that Iran’s execution rate “remains one of the highest in the world”.

Over 3,700 people have been executed in Iran during Rouhani’s presidency. Iran is the world leader in executions per capita, deploying the death penalty as a tool to keep its shaky grasp on power and to silence a disgruntled population. Why the need to silence them? Because most of them live under the poverty line, unemployment is rampant, and there is no freedom of speech.

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