Iranian 'minor' woman faces execution by hanging
She was arrested by authorities in February 2012 and convicted of her husband’s murder in what the human rights group have called a “grossly unfair trial.” If the ruling goes ahead, Sekaanvand could face execution by hanging as soon as 13 October. She was 17 when she allegedly committed the crime, making her a minor according to international standards.
After her arrest, according to Amnesty, Sekaanvand was denied access to a lawyer during her detention and only met her state appointed lawyer during her final trial session in October 2014.
In Iran it is common for detainees to face prolonged periods of detainment without access to legal advice, or familial visits.
Philip Luther, Amnesty’s advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, has described the case as “extremely disturbing” noting that “Iran’s continued use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders displays the authorities’ contempt even for commitments they themselves have signed up to.”
According to the international rights group Sekaanvand was beaten and denied access to a lawyer during her entire pre-trial detention period and only met her state-appointed lawyer for the first time at her final trial session on 18 October 2014.
During court proceedings Sekaanvand is said to have stated that the victim’s brother, who had raped her several times, carried out the crime and coerced her into confessing, promising her that he would pardon her. According to Sharia law relatives of a murder victim have the agency to pardon the offender, instead accepting financial compensation.
But Sekaanvand’s statement was ingored, say Amnesty, instead her conviction was based centrally on “confessions” made under duress without the presence of a lawyer.
|Iran’s continued use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders displays the authorities’ contempt even for commitments they themselves have signed up to.
Philip Luther, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Amnesty International
A similar case last year drew widespread condemnation from rights groups when Fatemeh Salbehi was executed in Iran. Salbehi, who like Sekaanvand said that she had been abused by her husband, suffocated her husband after first drugging him. She was only 17 at the time.
Also in 2015 Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Markazi province after being convicted of “lavat-e be onf” (forced male to male anal intercourse) in early 2015. At the time of his arrest he was 17.
According to an Amnesty report Iran has executed over 70 juvenile offenders in the last ten years.