A 13-year-old Iranian girl has reportedly been beheaded in her sleep by her father in a so-called honour killing after police took her back home when she ran away.
The incident took place in Hovigh, in Talesh county, in northern Iran
Romina Ashrafi was killed with a farming sickle in her family home in Hovigh, Talesh county, as a form of ‘punishment’, reports said.
She had planned to run away with an older man she had fallen in love with, Iran International TV said.
she had run away from home with a man 35-years-old – after her dad opposed them marrying.
The girl was eventually found by police and was later returned home and placed under the care of her father
Local media reported that although Romina told authorities she would be in danger at home and feared for her life, they handed her back as required by Islamic Republic laws.
After committing the murder, Romina’s father allegedly handed himself in to police and confessed to the crime – while still holding the bloodied murder weapon.
However, if convicted he will not be punished by death under Iranian law because he was the girl’s guardian
Meanwhile, Iranian local media has also interviewed the man who the girl ran away with. They claim he is a 35-year-old man named Bahman
The Vice President for Women’s Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has also announced a ‘special order’ to investigate the murder, Iran International said, and her father faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted.
Romina’s father 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’, Al Arabiya reported.
Sharia law says that only ‘blood owners’ – immediate family members – are allowed to demand execution for the murder of a relative.
It means most honour killings go unpunished since families tend not to demand the death sentence for another family member.
According Dailymail , the news of Romina’s death has sent shockwaves across Iran, with President Hassan Rouhani urging his cabinet to speed up harsher laws in so-called honour killings
Iranian laws mean girls can marry after the age of 13, though the average age of marriage for Iranian women is 23.
While the exact number of honour killings in Iran is not known, a Tehran police official has previously said they account for around 20 per cent of Iran’s murders.