Disabled Iranian faces execution
December 15, 2004
Iran plans to execute a mentally disabled 19-year-old woman for "acts contrary
to chastity," alleged crimes stemming from her having been forced into
prostitution as a child, Amnesty International says.
Amnesty cited reports in the Iranian newspaper Khorasan that said social
workers estimated the woman, identified only as Leyla M, had the mental
capacity of an eight-year-old.
Amnesty said a November 28 story in the newspaper reported that Leyla had been
sentenced to death by a court in the central Iranian city of Arak when she was
Amnesty said the sentence had been passed to Iran's Supreme Court for
The group said Leyla had been convicted of "acts contrary to chastity,"
including controlling a brothel, having sex with relatives and giving birth
It said she had confessed to the charges and was to be flogged before her
execution. The group said Khorasan had reported Leyla had exhausted her
Amnesty said Leyla's mother had forced her into prostitution when she was
eight. It said the girl was raped repeatedly and gave birth to a baby when she
was nine. She was sentenced to flogging at the time.
Her family sold her to an Afghan man when she was 12, and his mother forced the
girl to continue as a prostitute, Amnesty said.
She gave birth to twins at age 14 and was again punished by flogging, the group
said. Her family later sold her again, to a 55-year-old man, Amnesty said.
Amnesty said that as a party to the International Convention on Civil and
Political Rights, Iran had promised not to execute anyone for crimes committed
while they were under 18.
The group said Iran had executed at least three child offenders in 2004.
In addition, it said, a 14-year-old boy died on November 12 after being flogged
for eating in public during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. - Associated
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