Iran Must Halt Execution of Footballer's 'Temporary' Wife

Update (12/1/10): Sadly, Iran carried out the execution of Shahla Jahed today. Please join us in taking action to prevent further executions around the world. The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights and must be abolished.

A file picture taken June 6, 2004 shows Iranian Khadijeh Shahla Jahed during her trial in Tehran AFP/Getty Images

Shahla Jahed, the “temporary” wife of a prominent Iranian football player, could be executed as early as Wednesday morning.

Iranian media reports indicate that her lawyer received official notice that Khadijeh Jahed, known as “Shahla,” is to be executed in Evin prison in Tehran at dawn tomorrow.

Jahed, who had contracted a temporary marriage with Nasser Mohammad-Khani, a former striker for the Iranian national football team, was convicted of stabbing to death her husband’s permanent wife.

Shahla Jahed must be spared execution. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and the most extreme form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.  As well, in this case, there are good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted.  She should not be made to pay with her life.

Under Iranian law, men and women can marry either permanently or temporarily. In a temporary marriage, men and women can commit to be married for an agreed period of time, after payment of money to the woman. Men can have up to four permanent wives and any number of temporary wives. Women can only be married to one man at a time.

Jahed was initially sentenced to death by the Tehran General Court in June 2004.  She withdrew her “confession” in court, but her sentence was upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court.

There are strong grounds to believe that Shahla Jahed did not receive a fair trial, and may have been coerced into making a ‘confession’ during months of detention in solitary confinement. She retracted that confession at her trial but the court chose to accept it as evidence against her.

Jahed’s lawyer had requested a review of the execution order, arguing that Jahed’s case had not been properly investigated.

In November 2005, the Head of the Judiciary ordered a stay of execution so that the case could be re-examined but the following year it was upheld.

In early 2008, the Head of the Judiciary again overturned the verdict and ordered a fresh investigation, citing “procedural flaws.”  However, Jahed was again sentenced to death in February 2009 by the General Court.
On September 13 of this year, Jahed wrote to the current Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, asking for a final decision in her case.

In Iran, a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a state party. The family of a murder victim has the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

58 thoughts on “Iran Must Halt Execution of Footballer's 'Temporary' Wife

  1. permanent wife…..temporary wives…..Men can have up to four permanent wives and any number of temporary wives. Women can only be married to one man at a time…
    The wonders of Patriarchy and just think all sanctioned by religious belief….

  2. We cannot accept this type of punishment and if there are "good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted", the fairest thing to do is to analyse the circumstances and give her a fair trial.
    "She should not be made to pay with her life."
    Sincerely,
    J.

  3. These marriage rules r missing some major points, thats why it sound wrong!!
    Men Cant get married 4 times without permission of his first wife, or have temporary marriage!!! Its true that people do it illegally !

    Surely, this case has many hidden stories because of Nasser Mohammad-Khani being a Hero for many young people in Iran !

  4. Cut the rope I

    cut the rope from
    the neck of the convicted
    and bind the judge

    Cut the rope II

    put the judges to court
    and give them a fair trial
    for their death sentences

    Cut the rope III

    life is sacred
    no one may steal the right
    to breathe freely

  5. Its almost too much to read, how terribly sad that man goes to this length to play god in deciding who shall live and who shall die. May they all (the people who force this so called law) face the maker and see for themselves what wrongs they have done upon the innocent victims. I shall pray that one day, this practice will stop. Such evilness in the world….disgusting. God help and be with this woman…no one deserves this. </3

  6. permanent wife…..temporary wives…..Men can have up to four permanent wives and any number of temporary wives. Women can only be married to one man at a time…
    The wonders of Patriarchy and just think all sanctioned by religious belief….

  7. We cannot accept this type of punishment and if there are “good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted”, the fairest thing to do is to analyse the circumstances and give her a fair trial.
    “She should not be made to pay with her life.”
    Sincerely,
    J.

  8. These marriage rules r missing some major points, thats why it sound wrong!!
    Men Cant get married 4 times without permission of his first wife, or have temporary marriage!!! Its true that people do it illegally !

    Surely, this case has many hidden stories because of Nasser Mohammad-Khani being a Hero for many young people in Iran !

  9. What kind of religion is this that has women being married temporarily – as if they are just a piece of meat. So take her virginity away, marry her for just a year or two and then its over? Thats inhumane – no she is not a wife but a mistress. Everyone should be given a fair trial but how can anything be fair in those countries where it all works against the women.

  10. Cut the rope I

    cut the rope from
    the neck of the convicted
    and bind the judge

    Cut the rope II

    put the judges to court
    and give them a fair trial
    for their death sentences

    Cut the rope III

    life is sacred
    no one may steal the right
    to breathe freely

  11. Its almost too much to read, how terribly sad that man goes to this length to play god in deciding who shall live and who shall die. May they all (the people who force this so called law) face the maker and see for themselves what wrongs they have done upon the innocent victims. I shall pray that one day, this practice will stop. Such evilness in the world….disgusting. God help and be with this woman…no one deserves this. </3

  12. I believe in " An eye for an eye " so if this woman killed another human being what seems to be the problem???? Hang her…

    What does human rights have to do with this.

  13. @Disbelief, yes, "temporary marriages" are mostly definitely inhumane, degrading to women and akin to prostitution. That is why, it was outlawed in Sunni Islam, which over 90% of the Muslim world follow. In Sunni Islam, if a man wants to take on an additional wife (he is allowed up to 4), he has to seek permission from his first wife, and any other existing legal wives. Sadly, this rule is not always followed – but barring legislation, such errant males would eventually have to answer to God for their actions!

    I am against death penalty as a matter of principle – hope something is done for this lady.

  14. Sadly if you are accused of capital crime like murder and are poor, uneducated, can't afford a competent and diligent lawyer, a minority or member of looked down upon group, in some places a woman, live ia a "torture them until they confess" place, and are unlucky enough to face a win by any means prosecutor, you will be convicted and sentenced to death at the initial trial. Sadly most appeals trials will consider only procedural errors not the evidence or evidence not presented in the initail trial.

    Then the State will plan meticulously plan and expertly execcute you. Is this pemeditated murder by the State or not?

  15. What kind of religion is this that has women being married temporarily – as if they are just a piece of meat. So take her virginity away, marry her for just a year or two and then its over? Thats inhumane – no she is not a wife but a mistress. Everyone should be given a fair trial but how can anything be fair in those countries where it all works against the women.

  16. An eye for an eye went out in the old testament brother but if she the other woman was my sister I would be kind of pissed off.

  17. An eye for an eye went out in the old testament brother but if the other woman was my sister I would be kind of pissed off.

  18. I believe in ” An eye for an eye ” so if this woman killed another human being what seems to be the problem???? Hang her…

    What does human rights have to do with this.

  19. @Disbelief, yes, “temporary marriages” are mostly definitely inhumane, degrading to women and akin to prostitution. That is why, it was outlawed in Sunni Islam, which over 90% of the Muslim world follow. In Sunni Islam, if a man wants to take on an additional wife (he is allowed up to 4), he has to seek permission from his first wife, and any other existing legal wives. Sadly, this rule is not always followed – but barring legislation, such errant males would eventually have to answer to God for their actions!

    I am against death penalty as a matter of principle – hope something is done for this lady.

  20. People are emphasizing the marriage laws between men and women. This has NOTHING to do with "permanent" and "temporary" marriages! This is about one person who has been "convicted" of murder. The real emphasis should be on whether or not she did it. It seems to me she is being used as a SCAPEGOAT!! Give her a fair trial! It should not be up to the victim's family.

  21. If an eye for an eye is not justified. Why more than fifteen thousands Afghans were killed (this is a conservative estimate) including children and women and other innocent people who may not know even America is a country or a person whereas only three thousands were killed in Trade center.In the same way why thousands and thousands of Iraqi's were killed for weapon of mass destruction which were not there.Have we condemned Super powers in the same proportion of their crime.

  22. It is wrong to kill someone, it is inhuman to send someone to death. But I am just asking myself, if this happened in the U.S.A in a state that has the death penalty sentence still on, who would we condemn then? The state? Her? Her partner?

  23. Sadly if you are accused of capital crime like murder and are poor, uneducated, can’t afford a competent and diligent lawyer, a minority or member of looked down upon group, in some places a woman, live ia a “torture them until they confess” place, and are unlucky enough to face a win by any means prosecutor, you will be convicted and sentenced to death at the initial trial. Sadly most appeals trials will consider only procedural errors not the evidence or evidence not presented in the initail trial.

    Then the State will plan meticulously plan and expertly execcute you. Is this pemeditated murder by the State or not?

  24. She is really oppressed…the court must not base its evidence of confession under the torture during the period of investigation, she must be given the fair trail, its absolute oppression made by men when they allowed to have two types of marriage( permanent and temporary marriage) and even giving them absolute freedom to marry how many women. Even Islam does not allow to marry more than four which we believe that its a clear oppression against the women.

  25. An eye for an eye went out in the old testament brother but if she the other woman was my sister I would be kind of pissed off.

  26. An eye for an eye went out in the old testament brother but if the other woman was my sister I would be kind of pissed off.

  27. People are emphasizing the marriage laws between men and women. This has NOTHING to do with “permanent” and “temporary” marriages! This is about one person who has been “convicted” of murder. The real emphasis should be on whether or not she did it. It seems to me she is being used as a SCAPEGOAT!! Give her a fair trial! It should not be up to the victim’s family.

  28. If an eye for an eye is not justified. Why more than fifteen thousands Afghans were killed (this is a conservative estimate) including children and women and other innocent people who may not know even America is a country or a person whereas only three thousands were killed in Trade center.In the same way why thousands and thousands of Iraqi’s were killed for weapon of mass destruction which were not there.Have we condemned Super powers in the same proportion of their crime.

  29. It is wrong to kill someone, it is inhuman to send someone to death. But I am just asking myself, if this happened in the U.S.A in a state that has the death penalty sentence still on, who would we condemn then? The state? Her? Her partner?

  30. She is really oppressed…the court must not base its evidence of confession under the torture during the period of investigation, she must be given the fair trail, its absolute oppression made by men when they allowed to have two types of marriage( permanent and temporary marriage) and even giving them absolute freedom to marry how many women. Even Islam does not allow to marry more than four which we believe that its a clear oppression against the women.

  31. shahid, if i remember well, don't forget the more than 100.000 murdered in iraq, and i remember vietnam, WW-I&II and the 20 million murdered jews in russia 100yrs ago ..

    i feel very sad and sorrow with the execution and also with all U$A-UN inhumanities, most of them males (on both sites)

  32. Let's see. A government playing god? NOOOO Way! Yeah right. No way. They play god everyday, especially in Iran, in Texas, in Iraq, in Pakistan, in India, in China, in yuck, in yuck, in yuck. You get the gist…

  33. shahid, if i remember well, don’t forget the more than 100.000 murdered in iraq, and i remember vietnam, WW-I&II and the 20 million murdered jews in russia 100yrs ago ..

    i feel very sad and sorrow with the execution and also with all U$A-UN inhumanities, most of them males (on both sites)

  34. Let’s see. A government playing god? NOOOO Way! Yeah right. No way. They play god everyday, especially in Iran, in Texas, in Iraq, in Pakistan, in India, in China, in yuck, in yuck, in yuck. You get the gist…

  35. Didn't the US execute someone today?

    How about a word or two in protest?

    Or is it just fine to kill 'em at home but not OK if one of the 'axis of evil' does it?

    Why are US Human Rights outrages less protest worthy than outrages in North Korea, Iran, Russia and China? What of the continuing outrageous perpetrated by the US in Afghanistan?

  36. Didn’t the US execute someone today?

    How about a word or two in protest?

    Or is it just fine to kill ‘em at home but not OK if one of the ‘axis of evil’ does it?

    Why are US Human Rights outrages less protest worthy than outrages in North Korea, Iran, Russia and China? What of the continuing outrageous perpetrated by the US in Afghanistan?