Child Bride Soheila Abedi Executed in Sanandaj

July 27, 2022, 11:45 a.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 27, 2022: Child bride Soheila Abedi was executed for murder in Sanandaj Central Prison today.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a woman was executed in Sanandaj Central Prison on July 27. Her identity has been established as Soheila Abedi, a child bride sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder of her husband by Branch One of the Sanandaj Criminal Court on 26 January 2015.

The court cited the reason for the murder as “family disputes.” According to informed sources, Soheila was a child bride married at 15 and had committed the murder ten years later.

According to Iran Human Rights’ report on Women and Death Penalty in Iran on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty, at least 164 women were executed between 2010-October 2021. Of those, six were child brides and one woman (Safieh Ghafouri), was an aroose-khoon-bas, a bride offered by one tribe to the opposing tribe to stop the bloodshed.

Within the marriage itself, a woman does not have the right to divorce, even in cases of domestic violence and abuse, which are hidden in cultural codes and language. In 66% of the known murder cases, the women were convicted of killing their husband or partner.

Soheila's case had previously been sent for implementation in October 2021 after her husband's family refused to forgo retribution.

At the time of writing, her execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021. Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

At least 251 including 6 women and 67 Baluch minorities were executed in the first six months of 2022. This is double the number of executions in the same period in 2021 when 117 people were executed.