An Iranian couple accused of stunning, stabbing and then dismembering their son’s body in an honor killing also confessed to killing their daughter and son-in-law in the same manner.
Akbar and Iran Khorramdin, 81 and 74, were arrested three weeks ago in Tehran on suspicion of murdering their filmmaker son Babak after his dismembered body was found in a dumpster near their home.
While questioned by police, the couple admitted to killing him because he was unmarried before confessing to killing son-in-law Faramarz and daughter Arezou years earlier for their “immoral” behavior, Iranian media reported.
‘I don’t have a guilty conscience for anyone’ [of the killings]. Those I killed were very morally corrupt,” the father said during a first court hearing.
Akbar and Iran Khorramdin, 81 and 74, have confessed to murdering their son, daughter and son-in-law in a 10-year series of honor killings (faces muzzled by Iranian media)
Iran, Babak’s mother, added: ‘We both [planned the murders]. My husband said it and I said, “Okay.” I’m not sad at all. I suffered a lot because of them.’
Police are still investigating the crimes, according to Iranian news site Tasnim.
The couple face up to 10 years in prison for killing their children under Iran’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, which grants lighter sentences to parents who murder their children.
However, they could face life imprisonment if convicted of the murder of their son-in-law.
The grisly story first came to light on May 16 when garbage collectors in Tehran discovered a dismembered body in a dumpster near the Ekbatan neighborhood.
Police were called, fingerprinted the body and identified the victim as Babak Khorramdin, a filmmaker who studied and worked in London from 2010 before returning to Iran to teach.
Officers went to the parents’ home and arrested them after discovering evidence of a murder inside.
The couple initially denied the murder, but later confessed – saying they put sedatives in Babak’s food and then stabbed him while he was semi-conscious.
They then took Babak’s body to a bathroom where they chopped it up, put the body parts in a suitcase and threw it in the trash, according to Iranian reports.
Police say the couple then confessed to killing daughter Arezou three years ago and her husband Faramarz ten years ago, using similar methods.
Faramarz was murdered for being violent and Arezou was murdered for taking drugs and taking boyfriends home, Tehran Police Chief Hussein Rahimi said.
The couple claimed that both Faramarz and Arezou were missing, suggesting they had run away to live abroad, and police have never investigated the disappearances.
The couple were arrested after the body of son Babak (pictured) was found in pieces three weeks ago in a bin in Tehran, which police led to their home.
Officers are now investigating the couple and investigating whether any other family members are missing in suspicious circumstances.
Akbar and Iran have two other children – Afshin and Azar – who are both still alive.
Police said last week that no other crimes have been discovered so far, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Babak graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Tehran University in 2009 with a master’s degree in cinema.
The following year he moved to London to continue his film studies, before returning to Iran to teach filmmaking to students.
He made a number of short films while in London, including Crevice and Oath to Yashar, which focused on his experience of moving to the country and being away from his family.
Middle East analyst and editor at Iran International TV Jason Brodsky said: “I think the horrific death of Babak Khorramdin is just the latest example of a long-standing pattern of domestic violence that we have seen in Iran.
It follows the tragic death of Ali Fazeli Monfared, who was murdered by relatives after they found out he was gay.
“Not to mention last year’s case of Romina Ashfrafi, a 14-year-old girl who was beheaded by her father in an honor killing.”
He added: “Despite a child protection law being passed in Iran in 2020, honor killings and domestic violence in a broader sense continue, and this is an area that the international community must address with Iran.”
During the pandemic, the number of domestic violence and homicides in the family has increased as people spend time at home with relatives.