On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the execution sentence of a female prisoner named Zar-Khatoon Mazar Zehei, a 46-year-old mother from Saravan, residing in Khash, in Sistan and Baluchestan province, was carried out in Kerman Central Prison for drug-related offenses.
According to reports received by Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM), Zar Khatoon Mazar Zehei, born in 1977, was the daughter of Sabegh and the mother of onegirl. She was the head of her family as her husband had passed away some time ago. On Monday, November 13, 2023, Zar Khatoon Mazar Zehei was transferred to solitary confinement for the implementation of the death sentence and had a final visit with her family.
According to the report from Hal Vash website, Ms. Mazar Zehei was arrested in the route from Kerman to Shiraz at a checkpoint in December 2017 on charges related to drug offenses and the transportation of drugs inside the bus. However, she has repeatedly denied these charges. Despite her defense, the court sentenced her to death without considering her arguments. Due to her poverty and financial inability, this Baloch citizen was unable to afford an experienced lawyer for her case and to defend her innocence.
Finally, in February 2022, the Iranian Judiciary issued a death sentence for her. Her family, lacking financial means, could not afford the expenses for a final visit. To collect the necessary funds, they had to sell their granddaughter’s gold earrings. With the money from the sale, they managed to travel to Kerman and see the prisoner for one last time before her execution.
According to the statistics published by Iran HRM on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10, 2023, at least 18 women prisoners have been executed in Iranian regime prisons since the beginning of this year. ZarKhatoon Mazar Zehei is the 19th woman to be executed by the Iranian regime. Iran continues to hold the record for the highest number of executions of women worldwide.