Iranian man jailed for 9 years for beheading daughter, 14, in ‘honor killing’

Mother decries soft sentence, calls for him to be executed, saying she fears for the lives of the rest of her family should he ever return

14-year-old Romina Ashrafi, who was beheaded by her father in Iran in an 'honor killing' (Courtesy)
14-year-old Romina Ashrafi, who was beheaded by her father in Iran in an 'honor killing' (Courtesy)

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian has been sentenced to nine years in jail for beheading his teenaged daughter in her sleep, local media reported Friday, adding that the mother wants him executed.

The so-called “honor” killing of 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi on May 21 sparked widespread outrage, with media condemning “institutionalized violence” in the Islamic republic.

Media said Romina was decapitated at the family’s home in Talesh in the northern province of Gilan.

“Despite the judicial authorities’ insistence on a ‘special handling’ of the case, the verdict has terrified me and my family,” Rana Dashti, the girl’s mother, told ILNA news agency.

“I don’t want my husband to return to our village ever again,” she said, calling for the verdict to be reviewed and changed to “execution”.

Dashti said she now feared for the life of the rest of her family.

Iran’s “eye for an eye” retributive justice does not apply to a father who kills his child, ILNA said, adding that the customary sentence is jail time and fines.

According to Iran’s penal code, the maximum punishment for offences such as the extensive trafficking of hard drugs is execution.

Crimes such as theft can be punished with hand amputation, while repeat fraud offenders can face up to 10 years in prison.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had expressed regret following Romina’s killing and called for the speedy passing of several anti-violence bills.

The girl had reportedly run away after her father refused to give permission for her to marry a man 15 years her senior.

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

The man she wanted to marry, Bahman Khavari, was sentenced to two years in prison, local media said, without specifying the charge.

The legal age of marriage for women in Iran is 13.

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