By Jubin Katiraie
A 13-year-old Iranian girl was beheaded in her sleep by her father in a likely so-called honor killing, after attempting to elope with her boyfriend.
Romina Ashrafi had run away from home because her father objected to her marrying a 35-year-old man that local media outlets said she had “fallen in love with”.
However, she was found by the police and taken home to her small town in Gilan Province, even though she told them that her life would be in danger there.
Then, when she was sleeping on May 21, her father took a sickle and cut her head off.
Her father then took the sickle to the police station where he confessed to the murder and was arrested. While the details of this case are secret at the moment, it is likely that he will get off scot-free because the Islamic Penal Code allows a “father or paternal grandfather” who kills their own child or grandchild to face the sentence of merely paying “blood money to the heir of the victim”. As Ashrafi was 13, she has no heirs.
This murder has been widely condemned by Iranians and prompted a debate over why honor killings are still legal in Iran. They are horrifically common, with a senior police official saying in 2014 that they made up one-fifth of all murders in Iran.
Meanwhile, Ashrafi’s boyfriend Bahman Khavari was interviewed by the Maidan website and many are questioning why he has not been arrested for having a relationship with such a young girl. It seems that this poor young girl was the victim of two older male abusers, but had no one to turn to because of the patriarchal laws of the regime.
In a related story, a young Baluch woman from Gasht, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, was murdered by her husband, with her husband’s relatives claiming that it was an “honor killing” and her relatives and neighbors reporting that he was a drug addict and she was the victim of domestic violence.
Hajareh Hosseinpour, who leaves behind a 2-year-old son, was married off at just 16 to Esmail. He beat her and burned her with hot wire, which she revealed to her family on multiple occasions, but they did not help.
On May 4, Hosseinbor was dragged out of her home by her husband and a few hours later, her broken, virtually unconscious, and the almost-lifeless body was dumped outside a hospital, while he ran away.
A nurse reported that her digestive tract was burned by acid forced down her throat, which also left her with no teeth. Hosseinbor could hardly breathe, her head was covered by thorns, ost of her bones were broken, and her arms and hands had been pounded by stone.