The Islamic state Iran executes about two prisoners daily. The only way for a death penalty to be revoked, is if the victim’s family give pardon. Unfortunately for 21-year-old Razieh Ebrahimi, her deceased husband’s family want to see her hung. To most other people, her pardon seems rational as she acted upon an abusive relationship at the mere age of 17.
She was married to her husband at just 14 years old, forced by her father because he was an educated man and a teacher. The Iranian civil code states that girls can marry at the age of 13 and boys at the age of 15, however they can marry younger with the consent of legal guardians and a competent court.
At just 15 she gave birth to her first child, however the relationship was interwoven with beatings, attacks and continuous insults. Ebrahimi admitted to killing her husband whilst he was asleep, and later burying his body in their garden before reported him missing to the police.
It was in fact the girl’s father who found his body and called the authorities. Ebrahimi could now be executed at any time. Her lawyer requested a retrial due to the fact she was under the age of 18 when the crime was committed, however the Supreme Court denied the appeal.
There is now an internal campaign in attempt to stop the execution. Joe Stork, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, stated that Iran’s judiciary should without a doubt reverse the court order of a battered child bride. A petition on Amnesty International’s website has also raised more than 9,000 signatures in attempts to free Ebrahimi from the death penalty.
Iran has executed 11 child offenders since 2009, making it the country with the highest child execution rate – despite its signature on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits the use of the death penalty on those under the age of 18.
Human rights are certainly a debated issue within the country. Many believe that Ebrahimi’s husband was also a criminal for beating his wife, and therefore she should be spared execution for killing the person who beat and mistreated her.