Target: Ayatollah Sayyed ‘Ali Khamenei
Goal: Halt the planned execution of an abused women and ensure she receives adequate medical care.
In Iran, Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran faces execution for the murder of her allegedly abusive husband–a murder she claims she did not commit. Lokran was 15 years old when she was married to her husband, and just 17 when the killing occurred. Accused of murder, she was remanded in police custody where she was allegedly beaten repeatedly and coerced into confessing to the crime. In this confession, she stated she stabbed her husband after years of verbal and physical abuse and repeated refusals to grant her a divorce.
Charged with murder, she went to trial without representation. Authorities only provided a state-appointed lawyer for the final session of her trial. At that point, she retracted her previous confession. Instead, she stated that her brother in law–who she alleges sexually abused her–committed the murder and then coerced her to take responsibility for the crime, promising to pardon her as is the right of the family of a murder victim under Iranian law. The court neither investigated these allegations nor enacted juvenile sentencing rules that would require her to be evaluated to assess her maturity.
Zeinab later married a fellow inmate in prison and became pregnant. Recently, she gave birth to a stillborn baby at a hospital and was returned to prison the following day. Since her return to prison, authorities have reportedly not permitted her to see a doctor. Sign our petition and demand Zeinab Sekaanvan Lokran’s execution be halted and she be given access to adequate medical care.
Dear Supreme Leader Khamenei,
I am writing to you in relation to the impending execution of Zeinab Sekaanvaand Lokran. She has been convicted of murdering her husband, but her conviction did not take into account her age, 17, when the murder occurred. The court did not perform any evaluation to assess her maturity, which is required under the principles of juvenile justice. I believe that her sentence must be reversed and that she must be retried without the threat of the death penalty and in accordance with the law.
Furthermore, her allegations of suffering torture at the hands of the police until she confessed and her lack of legal representation until the final session must be investigated. If found to be true, these irregularities should render the previous trial illegitimate. Any confession that is the product of torture cannot be considered as the basis of a conviction. Furthermore, under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both treaties that Iran has ratified, it is illegal to execute a person for crimes committed below the age of 18.
Lastly, Zeinab Sekaanvaand Lokran recently gave birth to a stillborn baby. The following day she was reportedly returned to prison and has not been permitted to see a medical professional for postnatal or psychological care. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure she gets the care she requires.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond