A child bride is facing execution in Iran after a court there found her guilty of murdering her husband when she was just 17 years old.
Razieh Ebrahimi was forced into marriage at the age of 14. She gave birth to her husband’s child just a year a later. Ebrahimi claims she endured years of mental and physical abuse before she shot him in the head while he was sleeping.
“I married our neighbor's son when I was only 14 because my dad insisted," Ebrahimi was quoted as saying, according to the Guardian. "My dad insisted I should marry him because he was educated and was working as a teacher. I was 15 when I gave birth to my child.”
"I didn't know who I am or what is life all about," Ebrahimi told officials after she had been arrested. "My husband mistreated me. He used any excuse to insult me, even attacking me physically.”
Ebrahimi pleaded guilty to the murder, but she told officials she did it because she could no longer stand the abuse. She said her husband had beaten her the night she killed him.
“I couldn’t sleep all night, until the morning I was sitting above him looking at him. I was looking at him and I was thinking of what he had done to me and thinking about why he humiliates me and what can I do, what should I do. Every single event that happened is rolling in front of my eyes like a film and in the morning I took a gun and I shot him,” she told an Iranian newspaper, The Daily Beast reports.
Ebrahimi has been in custody for four years. The Iranian court delayed her execution once because she told executioners she was only 17 when she killed her husband and buried him in her backyard.
Joe Stork, a deputy director for Human Rights Watch, has condemned the planned execution that many fear could now be carried out in less than a week.
“Every time an Iranian judge issues a death sentence for a child offender like Ebrahimi, he should remember he is flagrantly violating his legal responsibilities to administer justice fairly and equitably,” Stork told the Daily Mail. “Iran’s judiciary should reverse its execution order of a child bride who says she was battered.”
Under Iranian law, the family of Ebrahimi’s dead husband could step in and pardon the young woman but, so far, they have refused to do so.
Amnesty International has also denounced the pending execution and has opened a petition calling for an appeal. In 2013, the human rights organization said Iran executed at least 11 prisoners who were juveniles at the time of their crime. They claim at least 51 such executions have been carried out since 1990, although many believe the true number is far greater.
Photo Source: Guardian