Desk Roundup

Lisa’s desk

Iran regime executes former child bride who allegedly killed her abusive husband

The regime in Iran has put to death a former child bride who was jailed for allegedly murdering her abusive husband in self-defense, according to a human rights group. Zeinab Sekaanvand, 24, was executed just two days after she gave birth to a stillborn child fathered by a prison mate she met and married while serving her sentence. At age 15, Sekaanvand was forced into a marriage with an abusive man whom she ended up  allegedly stabbing to death only two years later in 2012 at age 17, according to reports. He reportedly physically and verbally abused Sekaanvand, according to human rights group Amnesty International and would not grant her a divorce, as is mandatory by Islamic Law, for the husband to grant his wife a divorce. After confessing under torture, she was jailed at the Urmieh Central Prison in northern Iran for murder and eventually sentenced to death. Her death

Middle East

Humble pomegranate seed provides clue to how Yemen’s war fuels hunger

SAADA, Yemen (Reuters) – The tiny, red pomegranate seed may not look like much but it helps explain why Yemen’s civil war has brought millions of people to the brink of famine. Pomegranate exports were a key source of income for people in Saada in northwest Yemen, a province under the control of the Houthi […]

Human Rights

Young survivors of Yemen school bus air strike return to class

SAADA, Yemen (Reuters) - In a small school in Yemen's Saada province, the absence of dozens of their classmates killed in an air strike on a bus weighed heavily on the young survivors as they returned to classes. Ahmad Ali Hanash, 14, struggled to hold back tears as he recalled the friends he lost in the attack by a Saudi-led military alliance on a market in Saada in northern Yemen in August. "Their blood will not be in vain, we will avenge them by getting an education, we will avenge them by learning," Hanash, who was on the bus, told Reuters. "I thank God for surviving the attack, the ugly crime." As the survivors resumed their lives, joining morning exercise drills in the sand yard of the two-storey Al Falah primary school, or attending classes in wheelchairs alongside peers seated at wooden desks, other students said they feared more attacks