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The 13-year-old girl was beheaded by her father while she slept in Iranian honor killings

Girl, 13, is beheaded by her father as she slept in Iranian honor killing for falling in love with an older man

  • The teenage girl had previously told authorities that she was afraid of her life
  • Her father is said to have beheaded her with a sickle in the family home in Talesh
  • Local media say he reported to the police while still holding the murder weapon

A 13-year-old Iranian girl was beheaded in a murder of honor by her father during her sleep.

Romina Ashrafi was murdered with a sickle in her childhood home in Hovigh, Talesh, as a form of “punishment,” local media reported.

She planned to run away with an older man she had fallen in love with, Iran International TV said.

The teenage girl initially fled the family home with a 35-year-old man after her father was outraged by their plans to get married.

Romina Ashrafi was murdered with a sickle in her childhood home in Hovigh, Talesh County as a form of 'punishment', local media reported

Romina Ashrafi was murdered with a sickle in her childhood home in Hovigh, Talesh County as a form of ‘punishment’, local media reported

However, both of their families contacted the authorities, causing the security forces to 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 fear for her life, Romina returned her as required by the laws of the Islamic Republic.

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.

The vice-president for women affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has also announced a “special assignment” to investigate the murder, Iran International said.

Romina’s father will escape capital punishment for being Romina’s “guardian”, and the Islamic penal code means he is exempt from “qisas” or “retribution in kind”, Al Arabiya reported.

Sharia law says that only ‘blood owners’ – immediate family members – may demand execution for the murder of a family member.

It means that most honor killings go unpunished, as families tend not to demand the death penalty on another family member.

Fariba Sahraei, editor in chief at Iran International, said: “Every year in Iran women and girls are murdered by their male relatives in the guise of defending their honor, but the nature of the murder of Romina Ashrafi is one that the country has shocked and the rest of the world. ”

While the exact number of honor killings in Iran is unknown, a Tehran police officer has previously said they are responsible for about 20 percent of the murders in Iran.

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