Amnesty International have called on the Iranian regime to quash the death sentence against 22-year-old Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was 17 when she allegedly killed her husband who she said had repeatedly abused her, making her a minor by international legal standards.
The Guardian states that Zeinab Sekaanvand could be hanged as soon as 13th October this year after what Amnesty International called a “grossly unfair trial”.
Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International said that Sekaanvand’s case is “extremely disturbing”. Firstly, she was under the age of 18 at the time the crime was allegedly committed. Secondly, she was denied access to a lawyer. Furthermore, Sekaanvand says that she was tortured by male police officers after her arrest and was beaten all over her body.
This case is similar to that of Fatemeh Salbehi who was executed last year in Iran. Human rights groups condemned her execution which came after she drugged and suffocated her husband when she was 17. Salbehi, like Sekaanvand, underwent abuse from her husband.
Over the past ten years more than 73 juvenile offenders have been executed in the country, as stated in the Amnesty report from earlier this year. Iranian law determines adulthood based on puberty which legally classes a boy aged 15 and a girl aged nine as adults.