Death Row mum hanged despite fatal heart attack watching 16 others executed

A mum on death row suffered a fatal heart attack from watching the people executed before her.

But the Iranian woman, who was condemned to be hanged for murder, was still hung from a noose even though she had already died.

Zahra Esmaili was handed the harsh sentence after shooting her husband, reportedly a senior Ministry of Intelligence official, dead on July 16, 2017.

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She and her two children were reportedly subjected to cruelty by him, with the slaying a response to his apparent abuse.

Her kids – who claimed to have been asleep in their rooms at the time – were arrested as her co-conspirators, with her daughter sentenced to five years and her son cleared and released.

Zahra's death was confirmed by Iranian rights organisations in February last year.

A few days later her lawyer Omid Moradi claimed Zahra had suffered a heart attack in the moments leading up to her hanging, a human rights group told The Mirror.

Moradi said she died “after witnessing 16 men being executed before her”.

The cruel guards decided her death was not enough, so hung her corpse – with her husband's mother kicking the stool from beneath her.

Trying to cover up the sequence of events, officials published an account denying she'd died as a result of a heart attack, which Moradi claimed had been scribbled on her death certificate.

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The officials added a horrifying detail, claiming that her son had assisted the mother-in-law in helping the hangman.

Speaking with The Mirror, Iran HR Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam explained how the regime uses the idea of execution to instill fear into the general population.

He said: "And this is the effect they're looking for. And it's the same in each case: 'Obey our rules. This can happen to you'.

"That's the message," he added.

The officials' decision to publicise Esmaili's case, and to share the fact that her son was complicit in their barbarity, was rare as most killings happen behind closed doors, Mahmood added.

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