Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Maryam Ayubi


Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: July 11, 2001
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Stoning
Charges: Adultery

About this Case

Amid the judicial caprice of the times, Ms. Ayubi’s painful death earned the consideration and dismay of human rights defenders the world around.

The news of Ms. Maryan Ayubi’s death by stoning was reported in an Amnesty International urgent action dated July 11, 2001. “Amnesty International is outraged to learn that Maryam Ayoubi was stoned to death in Evin prison this morning. This is the second stoning to have taken place in Iran in the past two months.”

Ayubi’s case was the subject of previous Amnesty International urgent actions dated January 16 and 18, 2001. Amnesty also quoted a January 18 article in the Tehran Times newspaper concerning the urgent action on Ms. Ayubi: “It [the article] stated that ‘The West intentionally wants to interfere in the internal matters of Iran, leveling baseless charges.’ It also said: ‘Such a move by Amnesty is nothing but open interference in Iran’s internal affairs’.”

The execution was also announced by the Nimrooz weekly paper on July 20, 2001, referring to the news story of the Entekhab newspaper.

Arrest and detention

The exact circumstances of this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial other than other than she was tried at Branch 1602 of the Criminal Court. The proceedings occurred on several court sessions.


Nimrooz quoted Entekhab newspaper and stated that on December 3, 2000, Ms. Ayubi, invited the man she loved to her house and they murdered her husband, Seyed Ziaoddin Tabataba’i. Afterwards, she and her co-defendant transferred the body to the deserts near Varamin (Tehran province) and set it on fire.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic’s authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant. However, considering Article 103 of the Penal Code, and the fact that AI stated that in case she managed to dig herself out of the ditch she would not have been stoned, it appears that the evidence was not based on testimony of witnesses.


No information is available on Ms. Ayubi’s defense.


According to Nimrooz, the court condemned her co-defendant to death on the charge of murder and Ms. Maryam Ayubi was condemned to stoning on the charge of adultery. According to the AI report, she had been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment followed by stoning to death but subsequent news reports indicated that she was to be stoned. After performing the religious ceremonies, she was taken to the execution site inside Evin prison with a stretcher, and at the presence of the religion judge, was stoned to death on July 11, 2001.

Before Ms. Ayubi’s execution, Amnesty international had stressed that: “stoning to death is prescribed for certain offences, primarily adultery, under the Iranian Penal Code. According to the Penal Code, men should be buried in a pit in the ground up to their waists, and women buried up to their chests. Individuals who manage to dig themselves out and escape from the pit whilst the stoning is being carried out have their lives spared. Article 104 of the Penal Code states that: ‘...stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them...’ and [this punishment] is designed to cause grievous pain leading to eventual death. In the unlikely event that she manages to dig herself free before she is killed by the stones, Mrs. Ayubi will then start her fifteen-year sentence.”


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