Iran: 13-year-old girl beheaded by her father as she slept in horrific Muslim ‘honor killing’
A 13-year-old Iranian girl has been beheaded by her father with a farming sickle while she was sleeping, in a horrific ‘honor killing’ that has triggered outrage.
Romina Ashrafi ran away from home in Gilan province with her 34-year-old boyfriend after her father objected to their marriage.
Both of their families contacted authorities, leading security forces to conduct a five-day hunt before detaining the couple and taking Romina home.
The girl reportedly told the police she would be in danger at home and feared for her life, but they handed her back as required by the Islamic Republic laws.
After committing the murder, Romina’s father handed himself into police and confessed to the crime – while still holding the bloodied murder weapon.
Romina’s murderer will escape the death penalty because he was Romina’s ‘guardian’ and Islamic Penal Code means he is exempt from ‘qisas’, or ‘retaliation in kind’.
Under Iran’s Islamic legal code, penalties for fathers and other family members who are convicted of murder or physically harming children in domestic violence or “honor killings” are drastically reduced.
Iranian media widely reported the murder, with women’s rights advocates condemning it and other ‘honor killings’ – the murder of a member of a Muslim family who is thought to have brought dishonor upon relatives.
There is little data on honor killings in Iran, where local media occasionally report on such cases. Under Iranian law, girls can marry after the age of 13. It is not known how many women and young girls are murdered by family members or close relatives because of their actions, perceived as violating Islamic laws.