Mohabbat Mahmoudi, women imprisoned in the women’s ward of Orumiyeh Central Prison in an open letter in the seventeenth year of her imprisonment, called for financial assistance from people and international organisations to pay the blood money(Diyeh) to the victim’s family. She has also asked people and human rights organisations to try to secure her release.

Mahmoudi, the 60 years old prisoner is married and has 5 children. She was convicted of murder and has been detained in the women’s ward of the Orumiyeh Central prison since 2000. She charged to pay a billion IRR blood money.

Mohabat Mahmoudi

A source told the story of the murder to the Kurdish human rights network, The murdered was the acquaintances family of the prisoner’s father that he was hurt Ms. Mahmoudi with street harassments and telephone threats for a relationship several times. Even several neighbours, witnessed that Ms. Mahmudi has been threatened with a knife, by the murdered in an alley. Once, after her husband understood the story of the harassing phone calls, a physical fight occurred between the murdered and Mahmoudi’s Husband. The harassments continued until the day of the incident.

In (May 2000) after a harassing phone calls and threatening Ms. Mahmoudi, the murdered entered her house with a knife from the wall. Her bride and her grandson were with her at home and were found the presence of the murdered are at home.

According to the source, the murdered stabbed Ms. Mahmoudi with a knife on her head, hands and fingers. She had escaped to the second floor and the murdered followed her. In order to scare the murdered off, she picked up a gun that they had in the house and pointed it at him, but suddenly the gun went off and the bullet hit his head and he fell.

She quickly ran to her acquaintance and informed them about the incident, Source added. She presented to the Criminal Investigation Department after twenty days and after an investigation of the scene of the murder was taken to the Orumiyeh Central Prison. She then spent three years in temporary custody and later was tried on charges of first-degree murder in Branch 22 of the Criminal Court of Orumiyeh chaired by Judge Rezaei. The court rejected all the evidences, threats, harassment and attempted to rape by the murdered and found her guilty of murder and sentenced her to death(qesas).

After intense international protests to her death penalty, the verdict in the Supreme Court, was overturned and this time the case referred to the Branch 106 of the Criminal Court of Orumiyeh and again she sentenced to death on charges of murder. The appeal court of West Azarbaijan province upheld and finalised this verdict, as did the Supreme Court.

The source added: After extensive efforts of civil rights activists to save the prisoner, the victim’s family come to an agreement to forgo their right to retribution and accept the payment of blood money. But Mahmoudi’s family couldn’t pay the blood money yet because of the financial problems.

The source said about the latest Status of Mahmoudi’s case: In November last year, in sixteen years of her imprisonment, she transferred to Branch 2 of the Enforcement, Criminal Court in Orumieh and the court due to 16 years of uncertainty, changed her sentence to pay the blood money in lieu of execution. The court finally agreed to release her on a bail of 300 million IRR. The family of the prisoner hadn’t been able to provide the bail due to the financial situation. Eventually the victim’s wife after being summoned to the court, decided to accept a billion IRR compensation (diyeh, or blood money).

Letter to the Orumieh Prosecutor’s Office

Mohabbat Mahmoudi is suffering from sinus problems, asthma, and severe heart problems in prison and due to limited resources in the prison clinic and also the refusal of prison authorities to send her to a hospital outside the prison, she has been denied having medical treatment.

Mahmoudi in a letter to the Orumieh Prosecutor’s Office expressed her latest statue in prison and demanded for execution due to inability to pay a billion IRR blood money that a copy of the letter has been submitted to Kurdistan Human Rights Network.

She wrote another letter recently and ask people, institutions and charity campaigns help her in the payment of blood money. It should be mentioned that civil rights activists already had been launched campaigns in order to collect funds to rescue the prisoner that unfortunately the campaigns had been stopped, without result.

The following is the full text of her letter, a copy of which submitted to Kurdistan Human Rights Network:

My name is Mohabbat Mahmoudi. I have been convicted of murder of a man who attempted to rape me and have endured 17 years of imprisonment in Orumieh central prison. My crime was to defend myself. Now the victim’s family request the blood money. I am not able to provide this amount because my husband is a worker and his salary is just to spend the cost of living and my children are also workers and they live in rented houses. I do not have any money to pay the compensation to the plaintiffs. I already spent 17 years in prison and haven’t even seen my children’s weddings. In prison I have contracted some illnesses like, sinus problems and asthma. The imprisonment is very hard and unbearable for me. I am able to read the Quran( I Memorised two parts of The Quran) and feeling closer to God. I am asking for help to pay the blood money, for my children who are disadvantaged from the mother’s love for many years.

I hope you could help me on this matter.


Mohabbat Mahmoudi

June 2017

Women’s ward of Orumiyeh Central Prison