In a heinous case of 'honor killing' Romina Ashrafi, a 14-year-old Iranian girl, was beheaded by her father, Reza Ashrafi, for having an affair with a 34-year-old man. The incident occurred on the night of May 21 in the northern city of Talesh, in Gilan province of Iran. It sparked widespread outrage demanding stricter laws against honor killing.

Honor killing is taking the life of a member of a family who is believed to have brought dishonor upon other members of the household and relatives. Human Rights Watch has identified refusal to enter into an arranged marriage, being a victim of a sexual assault or rape, or having, even if alleged, sexual relations outside marriage, as the most common reasons for carrying out honor killing.

Romina Ashrafi Feared for Life

Romina Ashrafi
Romina Ashrafi Twitter

The victim, who fell in love with a 34-year-old man, identified as Bahamn Khavari, was beheaded in her sleep at her father's home. The father used a sickle to cut the head of his daughter from the back of her neck. After beheading, Reza Ashrafi carried the severed head and sickle to the police station, to confess his crime.

Iran HRM reported that the victim had run away from home after her father opposed her marriage to a Sunni man whom she was having an affair with. Romina was found five days later by the police and forced to return to her father's home. Despite the victim expressing her fear for life and maintaining that her father was a temperamental person, she was sent home as per the law. District governor Kazem Ramzi told the state-run IRNA news agency that Romina's father has arrested. "The details of this case will be made public after the legal process," he said.

Netizens Mourn Honor Killing Victim

Condemning the incident, President Hassan Rouhani expressed regret over the honor killing. The Presidential website stated that Rouhani has requested his cabinet to speed up harsher laws in so-called honor killings.

According to the IRNA state news agency, Massoumeh Ebtekar, the Vice-President for women and family affairs, demanded a bill focused on establishing security for women to be prioritized during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Raising their voice against Romina's honor killing several Iranians expressed their anger on Twitter. "Curse all of the brain-damaged culture and tradition that leads to the death of Rominas," wrote a user. named Azadehkt posted.