So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

Cheryl Sanders
May 29, 2020

Police in northern Iran have arrested a person accused of murdering his 14-year-old daughter in an "honour killing" that has sparked widespread outrage.

Fourteen-year-old Romina Ashrafi fled with a 29-year-old man in mid-May from her home in the town of Talesh, approximately 200 miles (321 km) northwest of the capital Tehran, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Iran HRM reported that the victim had run away from home after her father opposed her marriage to a Sunni man whom she was having an affair with. According to local media, Romina was handed over to her father by police despite "repeated warnings" she was in danger and feared for her life.

The two were found after both of their families contacted authorities, leading security forces to conduct a five-day hunt before detaining the couple and taking Romina home according to The Daily Mail.

The murder of Romina Ashrafi by her father, 37-year-old Reza Ashrafi, has deeply shocked Iranians in and outside the country.

Following the murder, the father showed up to the police, sickle in hand, and confessed to killing the teen, the outlet reported. "They must amend Article 301 of the Penal Code to ensure accountability proportionate to the severity of the crime, without resort to the death penalty", Amnesty said in a statement on Twitter, Thursday.

Amid public outcry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on his cabinet to fast-track harsher punishments against "honor killings", generally carried out by relatives who believe their honor has been compromised as a result of their female relative's believed sexual behavior.

Meanwhile, the Persian hashtag #Romina_Ashrafi has been used greater than 50,000 occasions on Twitter, with most customers condemning the killing and the patriarchal nature of Iranian society in basic.

In Iran, discipline is diminished for those indicted in alleged respect killings.

Iran's vice president in charge of family affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, expressed hope that a bill with harsher punishments will soon be in the final stages of approval.

Shahindokht Molaverdi, an Iranian women's right activist, said: "Romina is neither the first nor will she be the last victim of honour killings".

An undetermined number of women and girls in Iran are killed every year by their male relatives under the pretense of defending their honor for actions viewed as violations of conservative Islamic customs on love and marriage.

There is little data on such murders in Iran, where local media occasionally report on them.

Other reports by iNewsToday