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Iranian father jailed for beheading teenage daughter in ‘honor’ killing

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)
September 01, 2020

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

An Iranian man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for beheading his 14-year-old daughter with an ax in a so-called “honor” killing that prompted widespread outrage in the country.

The ruling was announced on August 28 in the northern province of Gilan, the ILNA news agency reported, adding that the girl’s mother called for the verdict to be reviewed and changed to “execution.”

“Despite the judicial authorities’ insistence on a ‘special handling’ of the case, the verdict has terrified me and my family,” Rana Dashti, the victim’s mother, told ILNA. Dashti said she now fears for the lives of the rest of her family.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani expressed regret following the girl’s killing on May 21 and called for the speedy passage of several antiviolence bills.

According to Iranian media reports, the victim, Romina, ran away after her father refused to give permission for her to marry a man 15 years her senior.

But Romina was detained by authorities and taken home despite having pleaded with a judge that she feared for her life if she returned.

When Romina returned home, her father decapitated her in her sleep in their family home in Gilan.

The man Romina wanted to marry was sentenced to two years in prison, local media reported, without specifying the charge.

In Iran, “honor” killings are only punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Otherwise, murder is punishable by a life sentence or death sentence.