Iran’s President Urges Cabinet to Curb 'Honor Killings'

Outrage in Iran over gruesome 'honour killing' of teenage girl

In Iran, punishment is reduced for those convicted in so-called "honour killings".

Proposed legislation against "honour killings" has been shuffled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran.

The killing has prompted outrage nationwide, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly urged his Cabinet to fast-track legislation that would impose harsher punishments for honor killings.

Following the murder, the father showed up to the police, sickle in hand, and confessed to killing the teen, the outlet reported.

Teenager Romina Ashrafi ran away from her home to elope with her 34-year-old boyfriend Bahamn Khavari after her family objected to the union.

Iran's penal code now reduces the penalties for fathers, or other family members, who carry out honour killings on their relatives.

And journalist Masih Alinejad said the young girl was a "victim of anti-women laws in Iran".

Reza Ashrafi was arrested for allegedly killing his daughter, Romina Ashrafi, with a farm sickle while she was sleeping after she fled her parents' home with an older man.

Although Romina reportedly told police she would be in danger at home and feared for her life, the girl was handed over to her father as required by Iranian laws.

Under current laws, Reza Ashrafi could face up to 10 years in prison for murdering his daughter.

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.

Shahnaz Sajjadi, close collaborator of the vice-president, calls for a change in the "common thought that the home is a safe place for children and women" and that there are no major differences between "crimes against women in society" and those that occur within the home.

On Wednesday, national newspapers featured the story prominently and the social media hashtag #RominaAshrafi spread on social media, with most users condemning the killing.

Iran's judiciary said Romina's case would be tried in a special court.

President Hassan Rouhani expressed regret over the killing, according to the official presidential website, and also called for bills preventing violence to be attended to quickly.



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