It’s been reported that a ten-year-old girl named Hadith Orujlu was killed by her father, after forensic reports found that the young girl had died from asphyxiation after being strangled.
The young girl’s father, Hussein Alef, confessed to strangling Hadith with a belt and her manteau, an Iranian jacket which falls down to the knees in agreement with Iran’s modesty laws.
Iran International TV has reported that in court, Hussein admitted to asking his neighbour what the punishment would be for murdering his daughter, and understood that if he killed her he would not be punished.
Hussein confessed to the police: “My daughter raised her voice to me a lot, I got angry for a moment and couldn’t control myself anymore.”
A witness named Rahimeh Faizi said: “He knew that because he was a father, the law did not provide a severe punishment.
He said ‘I will pay a ransom and stay in prison for a few years’”.
Under the Sharia law “an eye for an eye” provision, murder is punishable by death; however, the penal code offers exemptions for the killing of a child by the legal guardian, which generally refers to the child’s father or paternal grandfather.
Raha Bahreini, the Iran Researcher at Amnesty International told Fox News: “Fathers or paternal grandfathers who kill their children or grandchildren are not subject to proportionality, which may exacerbate the risk of ‘honour crimes’ against girls and women.”
Volant Media UK reported that Hadith’s murder took place before 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi was beheaded by her father in an honour killing which shocked the country last month.
It was after Romina’s murder that Iran passed a law aimed at protecting children from violence, which had been stalled for more than a decade.
The new law was ratified on June 7 by the hard-line watchdog Guardians Council, which must approve all bills passed by parliament to make sure they’re consistent with the country’s constitution and Islamic law.
Some local media suggested that if the child-protection law had passed earlier, it could have saved the lives of both Romina and Hadith.
However, while moderate progress has been made to protect children from violence, the Iranian government is yet to enact draft legislation authored over nine years ago that would criminalise gender-based violence which is widespread in Iran.
While there is no official data pertaining to honour killings in Iran, internal news agency ISNA estimates that an average of 350 to 450 honour killings occur in the Islamic Republic every year.
The agency’s study found that honour killings and murders committed by a family member make up almost 20 per cent of all homicides in Iran.
Journalist at Iran International TV, Nargess Tavassolian said: “More news of these crimes have come to light, but do keep in mind that many times these crimes are not reported, and they do not find their way into the media.”