|Birth: ||Sep. 29, 1986, Iran|
|Death: ||May 1, 2009, Iran|
She was an Iranian woman executed after being accused, together with her boyfriend, of murdering her father's female cousin and stealing her gold. She was convicted for murder and theft by the Iranian Supreme Court and was executed after five years imprisonment. She was 17 years old when the murder took place. Her boyfriend was 19 years old at the time of the murder and is serving a 10 year prison sentence for the crime. Darabi spent five years in jail after her conviction. She initially confessed, but later recanted. She claimed her boyfriend, Amir Hossein, persuaded her to confess by convincing her that he would be executed (as she would not have been; being a minor).
On Death Row, Darabi having developed a love of painting at an early age completed several works that depicted her incarceration. As well painting became her refuge from psychological torment of incarceration and her way of asserting her innocence. In confinement she also wrote poetry; among her work is the poem entitled "Prison"; a highly sophisticated psychological and philosophical work on prison. A collection of her art was displayed at an exhibition in Tehran by supporters campaigning to release her. Darabi's lawyer, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, had appealed against the sentence, arguing that her conviction had been based solely on her confession and that her trial had failed to consider vital evidence. Darabi was born in the northern city of Rasht, in the province of Gilan. Before her arrest she was a high-school student. She had three sisters: Elaheh, Ghazale and Sheida. As of May 2009, Elaheh and Ghazale are college students. Her sisters were also born in Rasht. Darabi was hanged in the morning of 1 May, 2009. Darabi was tried by a lower court in Rasht, found guilty and sentenced to death. Her lawyer was Abdolsamad Khorramshahi. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. She maintained her innocence, and claimed that she was under the influence of sedatives during the burglary. At this stage the Head of the Judiciary had the power to order a stay of execution and a review of the case. The boyfriend Amir Hossein has reportedly received a prison sentence of 10 years as an accessory to the crime. Amnesty International has made several public statements about Darabi. Darabi was a painter and wrote few poems during her life time. She had used her paintings and poems to express her feelings. In 2008 there was an exhibition of her paintings in Tehran and a similar exhibition was held in Stockholm in April 2007. Darabi attempted suicide by cutting her wrists on 20 January 2007. However her cell-mate noticed the incident and called for help. She was rushed to hospital, where she was revived. Amnesty International arranged for letters in support of Darabi to be sent to Iranian authorities. Darabi's name was also the first on the Stop Child Executions Campaign petition. A similar petition was made for another Iranian minor, Nazanin Fatehi who also was facing execution. However she was found innocent and freed from prison on 31 January 2007. The case got worldwide attention. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has entered into diplomatic commitments not to execute persons for offences committed when they were under 18. Nevertheless, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 18 people for crimes committed when they were juveniles. In 2005 alone, despite being urged in the January by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to suspend the practice immediately, at least eight juvenile offenders were executed, including two who were still under 18 at the time of their execution. Before Darabi's, the last recorded execution of a juvenile offender, Rostam Tajik, was on 10 December 2005. On 9 December, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, stated: "At a time when virtually every other country in the world has firmly and clearly renounced the execution of people for crimes they committed as children, the Iranian approach is particularly unacceptable... it is all the more surprising because the obligation to refrain from such executions is not only clear and incontrovertible, but the Government of Iran has itself stated that it will cease this practice."[citation needed. For the last four years, Iran has been considering legislation to prohibit this practice, but despite this, over the past two years the number of child offenders executed has increased. Iran decided to prohibit juveniles executions for none-lethal offenses like drug trafficking, but for murder, death sentence remain mandatory even for juveniles and only the victim's family had power to grant clemency. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say Iran executes the most juvenile offenders of any country, in breach of the UN Convention, which forbids the death penalty for crimes committed under the age of 18. Lawyers estimate 130 prisoners are on death row in Iran for offences committed as minors. Campaigners accuse the country of attempting to hide the practice by waiting until offenders pass the age of 18 before executing them. The head of the judiciary granted a two month stay of execution, which was disregarded by Rasht prison authorities. Delara Darabi was executed in the early morning of 1 May 2009 at Rasht prison, without prior notification to her attorney. Just minutes before being hanged she made a desperate phone call to her parents asking them to save her, followed by a prison authority's voice telling her parents that the authority would easily kill their daughter and there was nothing her parents could do about it. She was laid to rest in the "Heaven's Garden" Cemetery in Rasht, Iran, her birthplace.
Created by: K
Record added: Nov 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44504809