IRAN

Prison in Iran through the eyes of a young painter on death row

These are the works of a young Iranian woman, convicted of murder at the age of 17, who spent her days on death row painting. Christened "The prisoner of colours", Delara Darabi, who protested her innocence after she was sentenced, was hanged in Rasht prison last Friday. This is her story in images...

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These are the works of a young Iranian woman, convicted of murder at the age of 17, who spent her days on death row painting. Christened "The prisoner of colours", Delara Darabi, who protested her innocence after she was sentenced, was hanged in Rasht prison last Friday.

Darabi spent almost six years in prison after she originally confessed to murdering her father's wealthy cousin in 2003. She later said she had been persuaded to plead guilty by her older boyfriend, Amar Hossein, aged 19 at the time. As the minor of the pair, it was thought Darabi would escape a death sentence. But while the boy received a ten-year jail term as an accomplice to murder, Darabi was sentenced to death.

Darabi's family and friends fought hard to prevent her execution. Her plight attracted the attention of international human rights activists, but to no avail.

Delara before she was detained

Image posted on Help Delara MySpace page.

“Iran executes more child offenders than anywhere else in the world”

London-based Javaneh Rowshanrad set up a Facebook group to raise awareness and support for Delara's case.

What was so upsetting about Delara's case was that she had just been given a two-month suspension [stay of execution]. Only 10 days later Delara was executed. Nobody was informed and she was only allowed a few minutes' conversation with her mother directly before.

There are over 140 young people on death row all over Iran. Most of them were arrested under the age of 18, anything from 12 upwards, they have little or no access to legal advice nor advocacy services. Except for China, Iran executes more young people than anywhere else in the world [Amnesty International cites that Iran itself is the biggest executor of child offenders, followed by the USA]." 

The “Prisoner of Colours”

One of our Observers for Iran Farnaz Seifi tells us that Delara's family would have been allowed to supply her with materials and then take the finished paintings out of the prison (human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam also says she sent Delara supplies).

 

 

 

Images taken from the Help Delara MySpace page.