Iranian child bride is hanged ten years after she murdered husband
Iranian child bride forced to marry at 15 is hanged a decade after murdering her husband who had abused her for years
- Samira Sabzian, 29, who had been in prison for the past decade, was executed
An Iranian child bride who was forced to marry at 15 has been hanged in Iran for murdering her husband who had abused her for years.
Samira Sabzian, 29, who had been in prison for the past decade, was executed at dawn in Ghezel Hesar prison in the Tehran city of Karaj, the Norway-based Iran Human rights group (IHR) said.
Sabzian, from the city of Khorramabad in western Iran, was forced to marry her husband when she was just 15. In the years that ensued, the girl became the victim of domestic violence, her relatives said.
After four years of abuse, the mother-of two murdered her husband in 2013 when she was 19 years old and was sent to prison where she remained for ten years.
Today, Sabzian was executed by the Iranian regime – despite pleas from Britain, the UN and international human rights to spare the child bride.
Samira Sabzian, 29, who had been in prison for the past decade, was executed at dawn in Ghezel Hesar prison in the Tehran city of Karaj, the Norway-based Iran Human rights group (IHR) said
During her detention, Sabzian had refused to meet her two children in prison as one was a newborn when she was arrested.
But knowing that she would be executed within days, Sabzian met her children – now aged 10 and 17 – for the first time in ten years in an emotional reunion.
Sabzian was hanged at dawn today, with rights groups criticising Iran’s sharia-based murder laws which are based on a principle of ‘qesas’ (retribution in kind).
They say the laws fail to take into account potentially mitigating factors such as abuse or domestic violence as was the case with Sabzian.
According to the penal code of Iran, those accused of murder are sentenced to death – regardless of the circumstances surrounding the crime.
The victim’s family can choose whether to accept the death penalty or ask for financial compensation. But in Sabzian’s case, her husband’s parents asked for the death penalty.
The director of IHR, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: ‘Samira was a victim of years of gender apartheid, child marriage, and domestic violence, and today she fell victim to the incompetent and corrupt regime’s killing machine.
‘A regime that has sustained itself solely through killing and instilling fear. Ali Khamenei and other leaders of the Islamic Republic must be held accountable for this crime.’
Amnesty International said it was ‘horrified’ by the reports of the ‘chilling execution’, saying the mother of two was ‘subjected to a forced and early marriage as a child’.
The office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights said it was ‘alarmed’ by the execution, saying Sabzian had been forced to marry her husband while aged 15.
‘We again urge Iran to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing death penalty,’ it added.
Sabzian (pictured front centre), from the city of Khorramabad in western Iran, was forced to marry her husband when she was just 15. In the years that ensued, the girl became the victim of domestic violence , her relatives said
The execution has so far not been reported by media inside Iran.
Rights groups have raised alarm over a surge in executions in Iran this year, with at least 115 people put to death in November alone according to Amnesty International.
‘The international community must urgently call on Iran’s authorities to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions,’ Amnesty said.
The British government had called on Iran to spare Sabzian’s life.
‘Samira is a victim of child marriage… Iran must cease its appalling treatment of women and girls,’ junior foreign minister Tariq Ahmad said on X, formerly Twitter, late Tuesday.
According to IHR, 18 women have now been executed in Iran this year, including Samira Sabzian.
Iran has executed eight men in cases related to the protests that erupted in September 2022 but rights groups argue that the surge in hangings on all charges is aimed at instilling fear in the wider population.
According to IHR, Iran executed 582 people in 2022 but this year’s total is expected to be significantly higher.
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