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Iranian woman dies of heart attack before execution, still gets hanged

Zahra Ismaili was convicted of killing her husband; her lawyer says he was abusive and she acted in self-defense

Zahra Ismaili (Facebook)
Zahra Ismaili (Facebook)

An Iranian woman who died of a heart attack shortly before her execution last week was hanged anyway to placate her alleged victim’s mother, her lawyer said.

Zahra Ismaili had been convicted of murder for killing her husband. Ismaili’s lawyer, Omid Moradi, said her husband was abusive and that she killed him out of self-defense, The Times reported.

Moradi said Ismaili was sent to be hanged in the Rajai Shahr Prison, in the town of Karaj, near Tehran.

She was forced to wait behind 16 men who were executed and watch. While in line, she collapsed, apparently from a heart attack, and died.

Her lifeless body was hanged anyway so her husband’s mother could kick the chair out from under her legs, which was considered her right.

Her cause of death was listed as “cardiac arrest,” according to Al-Arabiya.

The woman’s husband, Alireza Zamani was an official in the Iranian intelligence ministry, Moradi said. The couple had two children.

Iran draws harsh criticism from the international community for its executions, which include killings of dissidents, non-violent offenders and people convicted of committing crimes as minors.

Iran executes more people than any country besides China. The UN said Iran executed at least 233 people in 2020, including at least three who were minors at the time of their alleged offenses.

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