An Iranian child bride could be hanged in weeks after she was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her abusive husband – Zeinab Sokian was sentenced to death for the 2012 murder of her husband, when she was just 17, Daily Mail reports.
However, Zeinab married another prisoner while in jail and fell pregnant, and as Iranian law prevents pregnant women from being executed her death sentence was delayed.
On September 30 she gave birth to a stillborn child in Euromieh central prison in northern Iran, meaning she could now be put to death within weeks.
Zeinab, who hails from a small village in northern Iran, was just 15 when she married her first husband.
Under Iranian law girls can marry at 13-years-old and boys at 15, although international human rights organisations say both parties in a marriage should be aged 18 or over.
During her trial, Zeinab claimed that her husband frequently beat and abused her, a source told Human Rights Watch. However, her claims were dismissed by the court.
The human rights organisation says that Zeinab was informed by authorities this week her execution could take place in the coming weeks.
Iran passed legal reforms in 2013, which give judges the discretion to spare children the death penalty if they do not understand the nature of their crime.
The law also entitles those sentenced to death prior to 2013 to a new trial – but only if they request it. Human Right Watch is calling for all pre-2013 defendents to face a new trial.
‘The 2013 reforms aimed to prevent wrongful conviction of children for capital offenses. If the Iranian government is serious about this goal, it should at a minimum grant everyone facing the death penalty for alleged offenses committed as children a new trial that conforms to international human rights standards,’ the organisation said.
‘This includes Zeinab, an alleged victim of domestic violence, who may otherwise imminently face the gallows.’