Iranian state media accused of editing a photo of a 13-year-old girl beheaded by her father to appear to be wearing a full hijab
- 13-year-old Romina Ashrafi was beheaded by her father in honor of the murder in Iran
- The statue spread all over the world and showed her with her hair on display
- But a state-run Iranian newspaper appears to have edited the photo to show her a full hijab to comply with the country’s modest laws
- Campaigners hit Twitter saying the move made her a victim a second time
Iran’s state media has been accused of editing a photo of a 13-year-old girl beheaded by her father in honor of an honor killing so that she appears to be wearing a full hijab.
Romina Ashrafi was murdered in her childhood home in Hovigh, Northern Iran, on May 21, with an agricultural sickle as ‘punishment’ for trying to marry an elderly man.
The news was widely reported in Persian media, but state-run newspaper Jame Jam appears to have photoshopped a photo of Romina to cover her hair.
Iranian state newspaper Jame Jam appears to have photoshopped a photo of the headless teenager Romina Ashrafi (right image) to cover her hair (left)
In the first image of Romina that went around the world this week, she was standing next to a pot of flowers with a pastel headscarf on it.
The scarf sits further back on her head, meaning the front of her hair is visible – which violates Iran’s strict modest laws.
Another image, which appears to have appeared in Wednesday’s newspaper, shows Romina with her hair completely covered.
Masih Alinejad, a US-based Iranian journalist who has long campaigned to overthrow Iran’s modesty laws, tweeted the image along with several other accounts.
She wrote, “Shame on the state media of the Islamic Republic for covering Romina’s hair through photoshop.
“She was 13 and killed by her father. Now they depict the victim of an honor killing in ‘appropriate hijab’ for her honor.
“They killed her again. This is gender apartheid, not a cultural difference. ‘
Alinejad herself has been the target of attacks by the regime in the past and her brother is currently in prison in Iran. She’s campaigning for his release.
Romina’s murder caused anger in Iran when it was first reported this week – including by Iran International TV – and has led to calls to tighten honor killings laws.
The teenage girl initially fled the family home with 34-year-old Bahamn Khavari after her father was outraged by their plans to get married.
The murder of teenage Romina Ashrafi in the Iranian city of Talesh, about 198 miles northwest of the capital Tehran, sparked a nationwide protest
But both of their families contacted the authorities, causing the security forces to conduct a five-day hunt before detaining the pair and taking Romina home.
Local media reported that although she told authorities that she would be in danger at home and that she would fear for her life, Romina returned her by law.
After committing the murder, Romina’s father reportedly reported himself to the police and confessed to the crime – while still holding the bloodied murder weapon.
District governor Kazem Razmi said the girl’s father is being taken into custody and an investigation is ongoing.
While Iran ‘eye-to-eye’ policies would usually justify capital punishment in murder cases, it does not apply to fathers who murder their daughters.
The maximum sentence that Romina’s father could face is ten years in prison, said the vice president for women’s and family affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar.
That prompted President Hassan Rouhani to argue for the swift adoption of several bills against violence that stalled before being enacted.
Ebtekar said on Twitter that a bill on the protection of young people was in the ‘final stage’ of validation by the Iranian Guardian Council.
The council, which scrutinizes legislation to ensure compliance with Iran’s constitution and Islamic Sharia law, has previously called for law changes three times after it was passed by lawmakers, Ebtekar newspaper wrote.
The publication fears that if the council returns the bill, it will be buried by Iran’s new parliament, which held its first session on Wednesday and is dominated by conservatives and hardliners opposed to Rouhani.