Iran hangs ‘child bride’ for murdering husband despite international calls for leniency

Iran hangs ‘child bride’ for murdering husband despite international calls for leniency


An Iranian woman who was forced into marriage as a child and being held in prison for murdering her husband, was executed Wednesday despite calls from human rights groups for leniency. 

Samira Sabzian was hanged in Ghezelhesar Prison, according to the Norwegian-based group, Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO).

An Iran flag waves at a park in northwestern Tehran, October 3, 2023.  (Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

IHRNGO Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said Sabzian was a victim of “gender apartheid, child marriage, and domestic violence.” 

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“[T]oday she fell victim to the incompetent and corrupt regime’s killing machine. A regime that has sustained itself solely through killing and instilling fear,” Amiry-Moghaddam said in a statement. “Ali Khamenei and other leaders of the Islamic Republic must be held accountable for this crime.” 

Sabzian had been in prison for a decade, having been arrested for the murder of her husband

Samira Sabzian

An undated photo of Samira Sabzian.  (Iran Human Rights)

IHRNGO said Sabzian was forced into marriage when she was 15 and was a victim of domestic violence. She had two young children – including a newborn baby – at the time of her arrest. Sabzian did not see them for 10 years until they came to say their goodbyes at the prison before her execution. 

The office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights said it was “alarmed” at the execution. 

“We again urge Iran to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty,” the office said. 

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IHRNGO says Iran is one of the world’s leading executioners of women, with nearly 200 executed since 2010. In well over half of those cases, the women – who have no right to divorce, even in cases of domestic violence and abuse – were convicted of killing their husbands. 



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