Iran hangs child bridePhoto Credit: BBC

Iran executes a ‘child bride’ for allegedly killing her husband, as reported by human rights groups

Iran carried out the hanging of a woman, Samira Sabzian, who had been imprisoned for a decade after being convicted of murdering her husband. Despite international pleas for leniency, the execution took place at dawn in Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj, a satellite city of Tehran, according to the Iran Human Rights (IHR) group based in Norway.

The execution of Sabzian adds to the growing alarm over the increasing number of executions in Iran this year. The country has witnessed numerous hangings, primarily related to drug and murder offenses, with over a dozen women among those executed. IHR stated that Sabzian, a “child bride,” had married her husband at the age of 15 and had been subjected to domestic violence, as reported by her relatives.

Corroborating the information, the Hengaw rights group also verified the woman’s execution. Sabzian, now believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, originally hailed from Khorramabad in the western Lorestan province.

Amnesty International expressed deep horror at the news of the execution, labeling it a “chilling execution.” They highlighted that the woman, a mother of two, had been compelled into an early and forced marriage during her childhood.

The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights conveyed alarm regarding the execution, emphasizing that Sabzian had been coerced into marrying at the age of 15. They reiterated their plea for Iran to halt all executions and work towards abolishing the death penalty.

Remarkably, the execution has yet to be covered by domestic media outlets within Iran.

Approximately ten years ago, Sabzian, then 19 years old, was arrested on charges of murdering her husband and subsequently received a death sentence, according to IHR. During her imprisonment, she was denied access to her two children until a final meeting earlier this month, as reported by IHR.

IHR Director Mahmood-Amiry Moghaddam characterized Sabzian as a victim of prolonged gender apartheid, child marriage, and domestic violence. He lamented that today she became a casualty of the inept and corrupt regime’s lethal apparatus.

Concerns have been raised by human rights groups about a notable increase in executions in Iran this year, with Amnesty International reporting at least 115 individuals put to death in November alone. Urging immediate action, Amnesty called on the international community to press Iran’s authorities for the prompt establishment of an official moratorium on executions.

The British government made an appeal to Iran to spare Sabzian’s life, with junior foreign minister Tariq Ahmad asserting that she was a victim of child marriage. Ahmad, posted on X (formerly Twitter) late Tuesday, emphasized the need for Iran to halt its distressing mistreatment of women and girls.

As per IHR, Samira Sabzian marks the 18th woman executed in Iran this year. Human rights organizations have consistently criticized Iran’s sharia-based murder laws, rooted in the principle of “qesas” (retribution in kind), for neglecting potential mitigating factors such as abuse or domestic violence in these cases.

In addition to executions related to protests in September 2022, Iran has carried out eight executions of men. Rights groups argue that the notable increase in hangings for various charges aims at instilling fear within the broader population.

IHR reported 582 executions in Iran in 2022, but this year’s total is expected to be significantly higher, indicating a disturbing trend in the surge of capital punishment.


Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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