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This anonymous source claims that female virgins cannot be executed in Iran. From 'I wed Iranian girls before execution':

In a shocking and unprecedented interview, directly exposing the inhumanity of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's religious regime in Iran, a serving member of the paramilitary Basiji militia has told this reporter of his role in suppressing opposition street protests in recent weeks... The interview took place by telephone, and on condition of anonymity. It was arranged by a reliable source whose identity can also not be revealed...

In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained.

This second source claims that this practice was based off of an 'misunderstanding'. “Female prisoners who are virgins must be raped before execution, to prevent them from entering heaven.”:

Excerpts of Montazeri’s book on the rape of women in the Iranian regime’s prisons:

In December 2000, Hossein Ali-Montazeri, a 79-year-old cleric who had been for 10 years the designated successor to Khomeini, the supreme leader of the theocratic regime in Iran, published his memoirs...

In effect, he acknowledges that the rape of girls in the mullahs’ prisons was a widespread and systematic practice. He writes: “many of those who were being arrested in connection with the PMOI were girls and they were executing them on charges of waging war on God… I told the judiciary officials and Evin officials and orthers, quoting the Imam, that they must not execute girls from the PMOI. I told judges not to write death sentences for girls. This is what I said. But then perverted my words” and quoted me as saying: “Don’t execute girls. First married them for one night and then execute them.”

I doubt whether such a law actually exists or has existed. This /r/ProIran post denies the existence of this law. Here's a discussion on a Wikipedia talk page regarding this subject.

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    Related question where the Western news media reporting was completely false: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/43144/…
    – Avery
    Jan 14, 2023 at 20:11
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    A scholarly book examining the way Muslim girls and women are treated sexually when imprisoned in Muslim countries (for example, imprisoned for reporting to the police that they've been raped) is "Does God Hate Women?" by Ophelia Benson & Jeremy Stangroom, Continuum, 2009. It also deals with claims of false media reporting. These two authors are deputy-and-co-editors of 'The Philosophers' Magazine' and have written various books. I recommend this for in-depth understanding of the issues involved in female executions where Sharia law is practiced.
    – Anne
    Jan 21, 2023 at 14:45

1 Answer 1

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Based on an order of Ayatollah Montazeri, approved by Ayatollah Khomeini, female virgins are not to be executed except if they are guilty of murder.

Particularly, according to Crime and Impunity, quoting Ayatollah Montazeri's memoirs:

[Ayatollah Montazeri was asked] "The publications of the munafiqin (referring to the Mojahedine Khalq publication Mojahed) outside of the country wrote that you issued a fatwa to marry off the munafiqin girls on death row prior to carrying out their execution. Please explain what this fabricated affiliation is based on"

…at the time many of the people arrested in affiliation with the Mojahedin-e Khalq were girls and they were executed as muharib. One day I complained to Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) and said,

“Sir, as the fatwas of the jurists state that a female murtad (apostate) should not be executed, some jurists believe that a female muharib should not be executed either. There is a disagreement about it between the jurists. If the person is a murderer, well of course the sentence for such crime is execution and there is no difference between a female and a male murderer. But in cases that are unrelated to murder, it is not as such for female murtad or muharib. Please order that these girls not be executed. They are mostly misguided; they have been given a flyer to read and taught strongly worded slogans to chant. Most of them do not possess discerning power and so have been influenced. They should be given an imprisonment term so that they will realize their folly and then be released.”

Imam stated, “Alright, tell the gentlemen not to execute girls.”

…So, on behalf of Imam, I told the judicial officials and officials of Evin prison and other locations not to execute munafiqin girls. I also told the judges that they are no longer permitted to issue execution sentences for girls. This is what I said to them. Later on, here and there, they pretended like I had said that girls should not be executed but instead first married off and then executed. The munafiqin outside of the country were using this [story] as well. But the real story was what I told you. I was trying to prevent the execution of women and girls, other than those who had committed murder… over all, my opinion was that women should not be executed, but because most of the female Mojahedin imprisoned were girls [unmarried young girls], I refer to them as such, but the devils at play misinterpreted my words.

For context, munafiqin refers to "false believers" (people who profess Islam, but disbelieve), muharib is an attacker of Islam.

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  • When he says "girls", is he referring to all women or just virgin women? Jan 15, 2023 at 20:31
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    @TerjijKassal not all women, he’s saying he used a term meaning “young unmarried girls”.
    – DavePhD
    Jan 15, 2023 at 20:46
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    Good answer (+1), but you could improve it by stating more clearly that, indeed, the loophole of forced marriages and rape of the girls before their execution has been done despite the indications of Ayatollah Montazeri.
    – Rekesoft
    Jan 17, 2023 at 11:53
  • @DavePhD So is this only Evin prison or the whole country? Jan 20, 2023 at 15:28
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    @TerjijKassal not just Evin, he says "I told the judicial officials and officials of Evin prison and other locations not to execute munafiqin girls. I also told the judges that they are no longer permitted to issue execution sentences for girls"
    – DavePhD
    Jan 20, 2023 at 15:30

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