Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iran: Iranian footballer's wife's execution scheduled: Khadijeh Jahed

Amnesty International
November 23, 2010
Appeal/Urgent Action

UA: 243/10

Index: MDE 13/105/2010

Iranian media reported that footballer's wife, Khadijeh Jahed, may be executed on 1 December. She is sentenced to death for the alleged murder of her husband's permanent wife.

Khadijeh Jahed, known as "Shahla", 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. According to a 6 November 2010 report by Fars news agency, an unnamed judiciary official said that her death sentence has been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences in Tehran. A 16 November 2010 report in the newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz said her execution has been set for 1 December 2010 if she is not pardoned by the victim’s family. Her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, has told the Iranian Students’ News Agency that he has not yet been notified of the date for her execution, which in law must be communicated at least 48 hours beforehand.

Shahla Jahed was initially sentenced to death by Branch 1154 of Tehran General Court in June 2004. She withdrew her “confession” of murder in court. Her sentence was upheld by Branch 15 of the Supreme Court. Shahla Jahed’s lawyer requested a review of the execution order in view of the fact that Shahla Jahed's case had not been properly investigated. In November 2005, the then Head of the Judiciary ordered a stay of execution so that the case could be re-examined. However, the death sentence was upheld in September 2006. In early 2008, the Head of the Judiciary in Iran overturned the verdict and ordered a fresh investigation, citing “procedural flaws”. However, Shahla Jahed was again sentenced to death in February 2009 by Branch 1147 of the General Court. On 13 September 2010, Shahla Jahed wrote to the current Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, asking for a final decision in her case. According to Fars, he has signed the order for her execution to go ahead.

In Iran, a convicted murderer has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) 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).

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

Urging that Shahla Jahed’s execution be halted immediately and that her death sentence is overturned; Expressing concern that she may have been coerced into making a “confession” during her interrogation; Acknowledging that governments have a responsibility to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences; but stating your unconditional opposition to the death penalty, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life.


Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

[care of] Public relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street

Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website:http://www.bia-judiciary.ir/tabid/62/Default.aspx; 2nd box (starred)=first name,3rd box(starred)=family name,5th box (starred)=email address, last box=substance of message

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary in Tehran

Mr Ali Reza Avaei

Corner of 17th Alley, No 149

Sana’i Avenue, Karimkhan Bridge

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei

And copies to:

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Bureau of International Affairs, Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737,

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

Email: [email protected]

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Shahla Jahed, who had contracted a temporary marriage with Nasser Mohammad-Khani, a former striker for the Iranian national football team and former manager of a team in Tehran, was accused of stabbing to death Laleh Saharkhizan, her husband’s permanent wife, on 9 October 2002. She “confessed” to the killing in pre-trial detention after 11 months in detention, but withdrew her “confession” in court, saying, “Everyone knows the conditions under which I confessed.” She was also sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, but has now spent over nine years in prison. Nasser Mohammad-Khani, abroad at the time of the murder, was himself initially suspected of complicity in the murder and detained for some months, but was later released after Shahla Jahed “confessed” to the murder.

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, on payment of an agreed sum of money to the woman, after which the marriage is null and void. 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.

Amnesty International has long expressed concern that torture and other ill-treatment are common in Iran, particularly during interrogation and before they have been charged, when defendants are routinely denied access to defence lawyers. Such “confessions” are often used as the main evidence against defendants.

Amnesty International recognizes the rights and responsibilities of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but opposes the death penalty in all cases as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in violation Iran’s obligations under international law.

Amnesty International has been campaigning for Shahla Jahed’s death sentence to be overturned since 2005 (see Urgent Action UA 283/05 and updates).

UA: 243/10 Index: MDE 13/105/2010 Issue Date: 23 November 2010