Honour killing story

Romina Ashrafi
born: 2007
decapitated: 21 May 2020
Residence: Talesh, Iran
Origin: Iran
Children: she was a child herself
Perpetrator: her father Reza Ashrafi (37 years)
13 year old Romina Ashrafi had run away from home with her boyfriend Bahamn Khavari (35 years old) after her father had objected to their marriage.

Their families called the police and asked them to track them down and bring them back. After a five-day flight, the couple was arrested by the police.

Romina was forcibly given to her family by the police, despite pleas and claims that she feared for her life.

On the evening of Thursday 21 May, Romina Ashrafi is beheaded in her sleep with an farming sickle by her father Reza Ashrafi.

After the crime he walked out and confessed the murder. The police then took him into custody.

In Iran, fathers who murder their daughters for honor are hardly punished because of Article 301 of the Penal Code. If he is found guilty by judges, he will be sentenced to between three and ten years imprisonment. In a court case in 2013, a court in Tehran has decided that a father will only be sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for stabbing his daughter to death because of a quarrel over her marriage.

Abolish article 301 of the Penal Code

Abolish article 301 of the Penal Code
All Iranian girls and their fathers are now reminded again that the Iranian justice system is very forgiving towards fathers who kill their daughters and that has a bad influence on their behaviour.

In Syria, it was decided in March 2020 to abolish the section of the law that ensured that honour killings were punished less severely than 'ordinary' murders.

We argue that Iran should follow Syria's example and remove article 301 from the Penal Code.

In Germany, Reza Ashrafi would probably have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the beheading of his daughter, also taking into account feelings of social unrest.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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