Iranian social media is on fire over the brutal murder of 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi, a girl who was beheaded by her own father for daring to run off with a man which she was not allowed to marry. The father will not face the death penalty due to a discrepancy in Iranian law.
The social media hashtag #RominaAshrafi spread on Iranian social media, with most users condemning the killing.
Feared father’s reaction
Romina Ashrafi is a teenage Iranian girl who fell in love with a 28-year-old man from her village, which she had known for five years, and when her own father forbid her to marry him, the couple ran away from home.
Five days later, Iranian authorities arrested the couple after her parents informed police.
The young girl reportedly begged the court not to be sent back home as she feared her violent father’s reaction. The judge refused and the girl was returned home by authorities.
Iranian newssite Gilkhabar.ir stated how Ashrafi’s father, Reza, used a farming sickle to behead her while she was sleeping on the first night of her return to home. According to the newspaper, the father then walked out of his home with the blooded sickle still in his hand, confessed to killing his daughter and was subsequently arrested.
Romina Ashrafi’s father will face a maximum of only 10 years in prison if he is even convicted for her murder. This is because Article 220 of the Islamic Penal Code in Iran states that her father cannot face the death penalty because he was her legal guardian. As such, legal guardians are exempt from “quisas,” meaning “retaliation in kind.”
The law also foresees that girls can marry as from the age of 13, even though Iran has seen a steep rise in the average marital age of brides in it’s country. At the moment, the average age at which Iranian women get married is 23. The practice of ‘honor killing’ is not widely reported on as local media seem to condone the practice, but in recent years there has been growing criticism on social media which is less controlled by the Mullahs.
Back in 2014, an investigation claimed that some 20 percent of the country’s murder cases were so-called “honor killings.”
As Iranian state media felt the need to report on the case as Internet searches for her name grew, the state controlled newspapers also ran a picture of her, but photoshopped a veil onto her hair.
Even her jeans were lenghtened not to show the skin of her legs.