17-Year-Old in Iran Murdered by Husband and Cousin for Fleeing Domestic Violence


The patriarchal, misogynistic ideologies in legislation enforcement, authorities and Iranian society has allowed the “honor” killing of younger girls to turn out to be a criminal offense with out punishment.

“Unfinished Sculpture.” (Tara Jamali)

A lady’s physique with no head, no arms and no legs.

An unfinished sculpture.

Out of all of the works within the artwork gallery, it caught my consideration essentially the most. 

I contemplated upon the artist’s motivation in creating her. What was the message being conveyed? Who’s she with out a head, arms or legs?

The sculpture almost certainly symbolized the destiny of a lady beneath oppression. One with no company, no alternative to create her future. One unable to stroll away from a darkish previous right into a promising future. 

This image of oppression, this state of shattered womanhood, was a actuality for Mona Heydari

She grew to become a baby bride in Iran at solely 12 years outdated, compelled to marry her cousin. Giving beginning at 14, she was pressured to remain within the marriage for the sake of her youngster, regardless of enduring home violence. Lastly reaching a breaking level, she escaped her marriage and fled the nation. Her father and uncle succeeded in monitoring her down in Turkey, reassuring her it could be protected to return house.

As soon as there, her husband and brother-in-law tied her palms and ft and decapitated her.

As if straight out of a scene in an ISIS flick, the husband paraded round city carrying the severed head in a single hand and the sickle he had used to commit homicide within the different. With a smirk on his face, he requested, “Now do you’ve gotten something extra to say?” 

The 2 males had been arrested—although it’s unclear if they will face retribution.

Heydari’s dying, reported on February 5, 2022, is just the newest in a collection of so-called honor killings involving younger girls in Iran within the final two years. 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi was beheaded by her father after working away together with her boyfriend. One other 14-year-old youngster bride, Mobina Souri, was married to a cleric in her village who killed her upon allegations that she had an affair. The daddy of 22-year-old Rayhaneh Ameri murdered her with an iron bar merely as a result of she had arrived house later than traditional one night time. Faezeh Maleki, additionally 22, misplaced her life after her father poured gasoline on her and set her on fireplace—he had speculated she had a boyfriend.

The checklist goes on. 

Iran’s legislation enforcement typically considers violence perpetrated upon girls by fast relations or different relations as “household issues.” Punishment for perpetrators is usually lenient. Ladies who’re perceived to have tainted the fame of their household or neighborhood are inclined to fall sufferer to honor killings—together with child brides like Heydari determined to flee organized or abusive marriages.

Iran’s legislation enforcement typically considers violence perpetrated upon girls by fast relations or different relations as “household issues.”

Heydari’s being solely 17 takes me again to my very own life at that age. I had simply completed highschool in Iran and was planning to journey overseas. By the point I turned 18, I had left for Germany and ended up staying there a pair months. The New Yr’s Eve celebrations on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin had been significantly memorable. That journey not solely opened my eyes towards one other tradition and uncovered me to a distinct way of life, but in addition symbolized the liberty to journey and broaden one’s horizons. Admittedly, I used to be lucky to have a household, particularly a mom, who supported me within the endeavor.

But the nation’s legal guidelines should not so supportive.

Married girls in Iran want their husband’s permission to go away the nation or renew their passports. Their husband’s refusal to permit them to journey has saved many outstanding feminine athletes in Iran from participating in sports matches held outdoors the nation. 

Younger women might be married off so long as their father or male guardian secures court docket approval. And the stress on women and girls to marry is intense, whatever the discriminatory laws imposed on them as soon as they signal the wedding contract.

It’s why I selected by no means to get married in Iran, regardless of societal pressures and expectations. 

Heydari’s dying has sparked outcries in regards to the lack of protections for girls dealing with violence in Iran. Particularly, the incident renewed debates surrounding the government’s refusal to move legal guidelines that would higher shield girls like Mona. Residents are taking to social media to decry ideologies of patriarchy and misogyny that permit perpetrators to get away with honor killings and different types of violence.

Ladan Tabatabaei, previously a high-profile actress in Iran, spoke out in regards to the incident on her Instagram account: “We can’t be silent. We can’t proceed as spectators. Each one in all us ought to do the whole lot in our energy in bringing justice to girls, in elevating consciousness towards honor crimes.”

Till that occurs, the sculpture will stay unfinished. Her voice, ideas and feelings won’t ever come to life. Her goals to journey, begin afresh and create her future will stay incomplete.

All whereas oppressors parade round city, displaying severed physique components as medals of accomplishment. So long as they’re the sculptors, the lady herself will stay shattered.

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