Human Rights Watch is trying to raise pressure on judges in Iran to call off the execution of a 21-year-old woman who killed her husband four years ago. Razieh Ebrahimi’s father forced her to marry a neighbor at age 14, and she gave birth to a child at age 15. She said she suffered physical and emotional abuse until, at age 17, she killed her husband with his own gun as he slept. The law defining a juvenile is murky in Iran, reports the Guardian, but HRW says Ebrahimi qualifies and thus shouldn’t be executed. Besides, says the lawyer for another rights group, young girls forced to wed “are actually being raped constantly under the name of marriage.”
They should be in school, not living a “life full of violence with no legal support,” she says. “They eventually kill themselves or their husbands to end this vicious circle." No date is set for the execution, but if the HRW campaign fails, it’s possible that the victim’s family could save Ebrahimi by asking for a last-minute pardon. The practice is allowed in the country, as was dramatically demonstrated in April.