Don’t Execute Child Bride Who Defended Herself Against Abusive Husband

Target: Iranian Minister of Justice Mostafa Pourmohammadi

Goal: Don’t execute “child bride” accused of murdering her abusive husband.

Iranian “child bride” Zeinab Sokian was arrested for the murder of her husband in 2012, and now that she is well over 18 years old, she is in danger of being hanged for her supposed crime. This is despite the fact that the alleged murder was said to be done in self-defense; at her trial, Sokian stated that her husband beat and abused her. Her execution was only delayed due to her age, the result of a law passed in 2013 in which children cannot be tried and punished for any crimes. In addition, Sokian became pregnant by another inmate and pregnant women cannot be executed.

Iranian girls are legally allowed to marry at 13, at which point they are typically given away as property to much older men. This arrangement has been compared to sexual slavery, robbing girls of their agency and the right to consent, especially if their husbands rape and beat them as well as treating them like objects. Despite Sokian’s alleged crime of murder, she does not deserve to be given the death penalty. She did not deserve to be given away as property to a man who mistreated her in the first place.

We cannot let this injustice take place. No woman of any age deserves to be treated like Sokian claimed to be, nor does she deserve to be robbed of her freedom through a tradition that should have been done away with long ago. Sign this petition to save this innocent woman from the gallows.


Dear Justice Pourmohammadi,

A young woman is scheduled to be executed after killing her abusive husband in self-defense. This woman was a “child bride,” given to this man at a young age without her consent, robbing her of her freedom, and during her trial she stated that the man beat and abused her. While murder may be a crime, this woman should not be punished when the events preceding the murder should not have happened in the first place.

Child marriage is an outdated and sexist tradition that should be done away with on the whole, and a woman who was mistreated by her much older husband does not deserve to be put to death for what was likely an act of self-defense. Please cancel this woman’s scheduled execution.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Adam Jones

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