Another item from the Annals of Brutality – in Iran a woman who was forced into marriage at 14 is going to be executed for killing her husband.
Razieh Ebrahimi was forced to marry at the age of 14, became a mother at 15, and killed her husband at 17. Now at 21, she is on Iran’s death row.
They left out a step: she was raped at 14, no doubt repeatedly.
“I married our neighbour’s son when I was only 14 because my dad insisted,” Ebrahimi was quoted as telling officials working on her case, according to Mehr. “My dad insisted I should marry him because he was educated and was working as a teacher. I was 15 when I gave birth to my child.” Her child is believed to be now six years old.
“I didn’t know who I am or what is life all about,” she said soon after being arrested. “My husband mistreated me. He used any excuse to insult me, even attacking me physically.”
Well she shouldn’t have agreed to marry him then.
HRW called on the judiciary, which is independent of the Iranian government, to reverse its decision.
“Every time an Iranian judge issues a death sentence for a child offender like Ebrahimi, he should remember he is in flagrantly violating his legal responsibilities to administer justice fairly and equitably,” said HRW’s Joe Stork. “Iran’s judiciary should reverse its execution order of a battered child bride.”
The dispute appears to arise from Iran’s own definition of a juvenile. The country does not provide a clear distinction between the age of majority – when minors cease to legally be considered children – and the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is 15 for boys and nine for girls under Iranian law. Under the current civil code, girls can marry at 13 and boys at 15, HRW said.
That’s some bad wording – the reality is that girls can be forced to marry at 13, not that they can decide to on their own. (I mean really – how often does that happen in Iran?)
Shadi Sadr, a London-based Iranian lawyer with the rights group Justice for Iran, told the Guardian that the case against Razieh Ebrahimi – also known as Maryan – underlined a hidden social and legal issue in Iran.
“Forced girl marriage in Iran is a hidden social and legal issue,” she said. “However, it should be noted that Maryam Ebrahimi’s case is not a unique case at all. This March, for instance, Farzaneh Moradi, 28, was executed for murdering her husband. She was forced to marriage at 15, gave birth at 16, fell in love with another man at 19 and was accused of murdering her husband at 20.”
She added: “Women such as Maryam or Farzaneh, who are forced to marriage at childhood, are actually being raped constantly under the name of marriage. While they should go to school at that age, they are instead experiencing a life full of violence with no legal support. They eventually kill themselves or their husbands to end this vicious circle.”
My point exactly. When a child is forced into marriage, the sex that happens in that marriage is rape.
Sadr said Justice for Iran’s research shows in 2012 alone, 1,537 girls under the age of of 10 and 29,827 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were registered for marriage in Iran.
That’s a lot of legalized rape.