A WOMAN waiting to be executed suffered a fatal heart attack as she watched 16 men die before her – but her body was hanged anyway.
Zahra Ismaili was convicted of the murder of her husband Alireza Zamani in Iran and sentenced to be hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison.
The mother-of-two was due to be executed at the notoriously harsh jail, around 20 miles from the capital Tehran.
But according to her lawyer Omid Moradi as she was made to watch the men being hanged before her, she suffered a heart attack and died.
He said “they hanged her lifeless body” so that her husband’s mother could exercise her right to kick away the chair from under her.
Mr Moradi said that Ms. Ismaili’s death certificate stated that “cardiac arrest” was the cause of death.
He said her husband was an official of the Iranian intelligence ministry and that he was abusive to his family so she acted to defend herself and her daughter.
Iran regularly comes second only to China in annual tables of the use of the death penalty for a wide range of crimes apart from murder.
Over the years Iranians have been executed for being gay, committing adultery, sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol.
Medieval style methods have been used over the years — some with a sinister modern twist — and all are specifically designed to inflict as much suffering before the condemned prisoner dies.
So called “Revolutionary Courts” have the power to execute anyone for anything they deem to be “corruption on earth”.
Children as young as 12 are sentenced to death which international law forbids.
In 2018 six kids were executed, including two child brides who killed their abusive adult husbands.
A year later two teenage boys were flogged and executed for rape without telling them or their families – sparking outrage over child executions.
Amnesty International says that both 17-year-old victims “were unaware that they had been sentenced to death until shortly before their executions”.
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Other forms of brutal punishment are also meted out in Iran.
It recently emerged one mentally prisoner is facing having his fingers chopped off by guillotine after being flogged 60 times for hunger strike.
Hadi Rostami, an inmate at Urumieh prison in West Azerbaijan province, has been sentenced to having four of his fingers amputated after being convicted of robbery in November 2019.