Iranian child bride facing execution for killing abusive husband she married at 14

Razieh Ebrahimi has been refused a pardon by her husband's family like the one shown above

A child bride who murdered her husband in Iran after years of abuse is due to be executed.

Razieh Ebrahimi was married at 14, had a child at 15, shot her husband at 17 and is now on death row aged just 21.

Charities including Human Rights Watch are fighting to have her sentence repealed and hold it up as an example of brutal capital punishment in Iran and other countries.

International law prohibits the execution of child offenders but in Iran, girls as young as nine and boys aged 15 or older can be killed for some crimes, including murder.

Authorities arrested Ebrahimi – called “Maryam” in the local press – four years ago after she shot her husband in the head as he was sleeping and buried his body in the garden, a source told Human Rights Watch.

Imprisoned in the city of Ahvaz, she admitted guilt and said she snapped after several years of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband.

Joe Stork, the deputy Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said the execution order should be reversed.

He added: “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.”

Prison authorities reportedly attempted to carry out her execution earlier, but when she told them she was 17 when she killed her husband they returned her to her cell.

Following recent changes to Iran’s penal code, her lawyer requested a retrial from the Supreme Court on the basis that she had been under 18 and did not understand the consequences of her actions but the court refused.

In an interview with an Iranian online magazine, Ebrahimi’s lawyer, Hassan Aghakhani, said he hoped the judiciary could at the very least suspend his client’s sentence until all branches of the court applied laws on child executions uniformly.

Human Rights Watch is calling on the Iranian government to prohibit the death penalty for under-18s and impose a moratorium on all passed sentences.

Under Iranian law, murder victims’ survivors can pardon the killer but the husband’s family has refused.

In April, a woman in Iran dramatically pardoned her son's murderer at the last minute before he was hung, slapping him before the noose was removed.

Since 2009, Iran has executed at least 10 child offenders, making it the country with the world’s highest number of child executions according to Human Rights Watch.

Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Hamas authorities in Gaza have also executed juvenile offenders in the last five years.

Read more: Iranian mother stops execution of son's killer
British woman jailed in Iran for anti-government Facebook post
Iranian billionaire executed for bank fraud
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'