Delara Darabi was born in the northern city of Rasht, in the province of Gilan, Iran. Before
her arrest she was a high-school student.
Delara was accused, together with her boyfriend, of murdering her father's female cousin
and stealing her gold. 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. She initially confessed, but later recanted. She claimed her boyfriend persuaded her
to confess by convincing her that he would be executed, but she would be spared being a
Iran has 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 has power to grant clemency.
Darabi was tried by a lower court in Rasht, found guilty and sentenced to death. 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. However, she was
convicted for murder and theft and was executed after five years imprisonment.
While on death row, Darabi, having developed a love of painting at an early age, completed
several works that depicted her incarceration. A collection of her art was displayed at an
exhibition in Tehran by supporters campaigning her release.
Darabi was hanged in the morning of 1 May, 2009.
It was 7am when Delara Darabi phoned home. "Oh mother, I see the hangman's noose in
front of me," she garbled. "They are going to execute me. Please save me." Moments later
a prison official snatched the handset away. "We will easily execute your daughter and
there's nothing you can do about it," he barked at the parents. Then, with a chilling click,
the line went dead.
The desperate couple rushed to the Central Prison in Rasht, Iran, wailing at the guards to
let them see their 22-year-old daughter. As they prostrated themselves, an ambulance
emerged. Most probably carrying a dead Delara with her neck severely marked by the
cheap nylon noose.
"They took Delara to the gallows with nobody around her," one of her lawyers said in a
letter distributed to human rights groups. "They put the rope on her delicate neck. I do not
know who the cruel person was to pull the chair from under her feet."
This picture shows a seemingly sweet and
innocent student. Sadly, she was a part of a
killer team. We will never know if she or her
boyfriend was the actual killer, but Dalara did
actually confessed the murder to begin with.
The cruel official removed the support under
Dalara's female feet without knowing if he was
looking at the struggle of a delightful ladyluck
or the delightful struggle of a forgettable felon.