The late Delara Darabi 

Captions: The first photograph of Delara Darabi is courtesy of Amnesty International
while pictures of Delara Darabi’s mother, a family photograph and Darabi’s final resting place in Heaven’s Garden, the Caspian City, Rasht, Northern Iran, are taken from

“Prison… I want to grant you another name
Who read this name for the first time?
What was the bird of his thoughts searching for?
How far did it soar until it view this abyss?
What did it see?
That it felt the void.
The void of a sensation called freedom.”

Composed by the recently-executed artist & pianist,  Delara Darabi, while still on death row in  a Tehran prison.

by Suzan Abrams

The 23 year old Iranian artist Delara Darabi who became famed for her paintings while in prison and who had retracted a brief confession for an old murder, insisting that she had covered up for her boyfriend at the time  and while still a minor; was executed without warning last Friday.

According to news reports, Darabi who happened upon an ease for producing tortured graphics while behind bars, made a tearful call to her mother on May 1, 7.00am, crying that she could see the hangman’s noose from her window.   She begged to be saved.   “Mom, they want to execute me. I see the gallows. Mother, save me,”  she pleaded.  However, she was soon led away by prison guards after someone  had snatched her phone and confirmed the unlawful hanging to her mother.  “We are going to kill your child and there is nothing you can do about it, ” he boasted. Delara Darabi was executed in the early morning hours in a prison yard in Rasht Central Prison, in Rasht, northern Iran.

Darabi’s hanging is said to have officially flouted international law as just 11 days ago, the head of Iran’s judiciary had granted her a 2-month stay of execution. Her attorney Mohammad Mostafaei,  had also been denied his due; the required 48 hours notice and a compulsory legal formality.  On his Persian blog, he later wrote of his despair and sadness describing how his whole body had slipped into shock and that he did not know how to break the news to her mother. Mostafaei also lamented to his God for the cruel injustices he often witnessed being meted out to weaker human beings.  Darabi’s father did not attend the funeral as he is presently hospitalised.

Darabi was 17 at the time that she confessed to killing her 58 year old uncle in a  botched 2003 burglary. She later retracted her confesson saying that she had merely covered up for her boyfriend, Amir . Her lawyer would soon receive forensic evidence that proved Darabi could not have possibly committed the murder but this would be  stoutly rejected by the court authorities.  Amir is said to presently enjoy vacational seasons from prison.

Besides, the current international outrage, Amnesty International who had campaigned vigorously for Darabi’s release expressed stern condemnation.


You may also view some of Delara Darabi’s Paintings – on the link in this line – although be warned that depicted graphics are vivid in their darkness and distortion, and may also be deemed as slightly horrific.
A painting by Delara Darabi.