Iran carried out the execution of a woman who died of heart attack moments before her hanging, reports said on Tuesday, shining the torch yet again on the country's dismal record of capital punishments.
The lawyer for the executed woman said the execution was carried out in order to please the alleged victim's family. The woman who died before her actual hanging was identified as Zahra Ismaili. She had been convicted of murdering her husband Alireza Zamani. However, according to the woman's lawyer, the death happened accidentally while she was trying to defend herself against a violent attack from the man.
According to the lawyer, Omid Moradi, the dead man was an official in Iran's Intelligence Ministry. The inhuman act was perpetrated in the Iranian jail during a mass execution, report say.
According to the The Times UK, the mass hanging of as many as 16 convicts was progressing at the Rajai Shahr prison when the incident happened. The woman was waiting in line to be executed when she collapsed on the ground following the heart attack. Though Ismaili died soon after, the authorities went ahead and hanged her, apparently in 'deference' to the family of the high-profile victim. In an act of yet more cruelty, the mother of the man was allowed to kick the chair from under the feet of a lifeless Ismaili, who was already dead when she was hoisted onto the gallows.
Human rights around the globe condemned the inhuman treatment meted out to the dead body. Iran holds the notorious numero uno position in terms of capital punishments. Most of the world's executions take place in China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, closely followed by Pakistan. According to Javaid Rehman, the UN rapporteur on human rights, as many as 233 people were executed in Iran in 2020 alone.
Figures collated by the Amnesty International in 2015 showed that Iran was the global leader in executions. Iran executed close to a thousand people in 2015 while Pakistan put to death 326 people and Saudi Arabia more than 150.