The story took place in the small town of Haviq, capital of the district of Haviq, in the county of Talesh, in the province of Gilan. According to local media reports the girl had run away from home after her father refused to accept her relationship with Bahman Khavari, a 35-year-old man she had fallen in love with. The family members of the two young men had filed a complaint and obstructed their relationship: Romina had been summoned by the local police and the judge had decided to send her home despite the girl had explained to the authorities that her father’s temperament was very violent and that her life could have been in danger once she returned to her family.
Romina was right. Last night May 21, 2020, while he slept his father took a sickle and cut off her head. The next day he went to the police station and confessed to the murder and brought it with him the murder weapon. The governor of Talesh told the state-run Irna news agency that the girl’s father is now in custody and that there is an ongoing investigation whose details will be made public after the legal process.
The case has been creating for a few days indignation across the country and social networks are taking steps to spread the news as much as possible by asking for a certain penalty for Romina’s father. A funeral poster which announces the death of Romina Ashrafi has been widely disseminated on social media where it is said that a “Mourning party”.
The MP from the Gilan Province Social Affairs Assistance Organization, Reza Jafari, described the murder as “an example of blatant violations of children’s rights” and said that his department “will make every effort to ensure the rights of the child. In addition, on the basis of article 5 of the law on the protection of minors, the prosecutor also intervened to investigate the case “.
In fact, according to article 220 of the Islamic penal code, Romina’s father cannot be punished with death penalty, as foreseen for all cases of murder in Iran, because this is part of the crime of honor killing. If the murder of a member of a family, due to the authors’ belief that the victim has done so shame or dishonor the family or has violated the principles of the community, the crime is assessed differently from all other crimes of the same entity.
Romina ‘s boyfriend, according to the Maidan who interviewed him, reported that families opposed their relationship but there is no further news.
Yet a relationship between a thirteen year old and a thirty five year old everywhere would be doomed, but this does not happen in Iran where the Sharia, Islamic law, which considers a 13-year-old girl ready for wedding. According to article 1041 of the Iranian civil code, in fact, the minimum age required by law for the marriage of a girl is 13 years. However, a father or paternal grandfather can give legally girls younger than a person of their choice with court permission as wife.
Meanwhile, the Rokna news agency wrote that the vice president of the Islamic Republic, Masoumeh Ebtekar, he quoted Hassan Rouhani issuing a “special order” to investigate the murder. Since Iran has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Adolescent, the Iranian authorities are obliged to protect women and children from human rights violations, including the Domestic violence and i forced marriages, for which non-state actors are responsible.
Every year women and girls come to Iran killed by their male relatives under the pretext of defending their honor. The exact number of so-called honor killings in Iran is not known but in 2014 a Tehran police official reported that 20 percent of the killings in Iran were honor killings: “According to statistics, in 2013, 18.8 percent of the killings were motivated by honor and religion-related apologies, and the provinces of Khuzestan, Fars and eastern Azarbaijan are among the provinces with the highest number of murders, “he explained Khabar Online.
Honor crimes are more likely to occur in rural areas of Iran where ethnic minorities live near border areas live, but the data and statistics are very unreliable.