A 21-year-old former child bride in Iran has attracted the attention of human rights activists after it was learnt the state wants to execute her.
Razie Ebrahimi was just 17 when she killed her abusive husband after enduring three years of marriage filled with physical and emotional abuse.
As a 14-year-old girl, Ebrahimi’s father reportedly arranged for her marriage to an older neighbor, a schoolteacher with a university education. Ebrahimi gave birth to a son just a year after the wedding but for the duration of her marriage, Ebrahimi reportedly experienced physical and mental abuse at the hands of her husband, who would beat and insult her at the slightest provocation.
Three years into the marriage, after returning from a party at her husband’s aunt’s house, the couple fought one more time and she was beaten. That night, Ebrahimi says she snapped.
“I couldn’t sleep all night, until the morning I was sitting above him looking at him. I was looking at him and I was thinking of what he had done to me and thinking about why he humiliates me and what can I do, what should I do. Every single event that happened is rolling in front of my eyes like a film and in the morning I took a gun and I shot him,” she is quoted as saying in Iranian newspaper Shargh Daily on Wednesday.
Ebrahimi buried her husband in their backyard, and her family turned her in to the police not long after.
For the past four years, she has awaited execution by hanging for her crime. Ebrahimi came close to the noose once before. In May 2013, on the day her execution was scheduled, she informed the prison guards that she had only been 17 at the time of her crime and they stopped the proceedings and brought her back to jail.
But now, activists say her hanging could be imminent, and local media speculates it may happen this week. Amnesty International has started a petition to raise awareness for Ebrahimi’s situation.