A 14-year-old girl in Iran was allegedly murdered by her own father in what is called an "honor killing." The incident has sparked outrage in the country and it prompted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to called for new protections for women.
Killed by her own father
The victim, Romina Ashrafi, was allegedly killed by her father by using a farming sickle after she ran away from home.
According to the semi-official Fars news agency, she left their home in northern Iran's Talesh county to elope with a 29-year-old man. When the murder was discovered, the police immediately arrested the father of the teenager.
The death of Ashrafi has been widely covered all across Iran, including by the moderate news outlets and pro-government news outlets. There is still no news on whether or not the 29-year-old man will face charges too for having a relationship with a minor.
Amnesty International condemned the killing of the teenager and the organization called on authorities to make sure that everyone who is involved in the crime will be held accountable.
Amnesty said in a statement on Twitter on May 28 that they want the authorities and lawmakers in Iran to end the impunity for violence against women and children and to create effective laws against domestic violence.
The organization added that the authorities must amend Article 301 of the Penal Code to make sure that the murder and everyone involved will be punished appropriately, without resort to death penalty.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Article 301 reduces the extreme measures for fathers who are involved in the honor killings. President Rouhani has expressed his regret of the death of the teenager.
During a cabinet meeting in Tehran, he ordered a fast study and ratification of a bill that protects women against violence.
In early May, two women from Pakistan were killed by their own family members after a video of them kissing a man circulated online.
The "honor killing" was done by the father of one of the victims and the brother of the other victim. The bodies of the victims were buried in a remote village in the North Waziristan province.
The father and the brother were immediately arrested by the authorities after the murder of the two women was reported.The man in the leaked video was arrested, but it is still unclear what his charge is. The woman who filmed the video is still unnamed.
What is an honor killing?
Honor killing is the murder of a woman or a girl in the hands of a male family member. The murders justify the action by claiming that the victim has brought shame upon the family name.
Honor killings are done in patriarchal countries, like the Middle East and South Asia. According to the United Nations. there are more than 5,000 women who are killed every year because of this belief.
In the past few years, the awareness of honor killings have increased and spread internationally. There have been petitions to stop the killings but some countries are reluctant to take the much needed steps to criminalize it.