Tehran: An Iranian child bride who was serving a prison term for allegedly murdering her husband in 2012 has been sentenced to death.
According to a report in the Independent, Zeinab Sokian was sentenced to death in 2012 by Criminal Court of West Azerbaijan Province for killing her husband when she was just 17 years old.
The accused was facing execution -- but she was pregnant at the time of conviction. Under Iranian law, crimes such as murder carry death punishment. However, the law prohibits executing a pregnant woman, due to which Zeinab was kept in prison until she delivered a child.
Zeinab, who got married when she was 15 years old, had fallen in love with a prisoner while she was booked for her husband's murder. She got pregnant with the prisoner's child while in prison.
After she delivered the stillborn child, authorities told Zeinab that she will be executed in a few weeks.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International, a human rights organisation, has appealed to the Iranian government to halt Zeinab's execution.
Terming Zeinab's case as a 'grossly unfair trial', Amnesty said that Zeinab had stabbed her husband after being subjected to months of physical and verbal abuse. She had also stated that her husband had repeatedly refused her divorce requests.
Amnesty also said that Zeinab was also denied access to a lawyer during her pre-trial detention period. She was only given a lawyer during her final trial session.
Zeinab had even told the court that her brother-in-law, who had raped her on multiple occasions, was responsible for her husband's murder, claimed Amnesty, adding that he had forced her to confess the crime under the pretext of pardoning her.
In its argument, Amnesty said that the government had ignored Zeinab's allegations completely.
"This is an extremely disturbing case. Not only was Zeinab Sekaanvand under 18 years of age at the time of the crime, she was also denied access to a lawyer and says she was tortured after her arrest by male police officers through beatings all over her body," said Philip Luther from Amnesty.