A tragedy unfolded in Ravansar in the Iranian province of Kermanshah as a 14-year-old child bride, Mona Aghaie, lost her life at the hands of her own brother.
According to the Center For Human Rights In Iran, the victim had been seeking a divorce before her life was cut short. Apparently, the brother killed her to uphold the family's honor.
The death of Mona Aghaie is not an isolated incident. Individual acts of violence, often referred to as honor killings, remain alarmingly intertwined with certain societal beliefs and Iran's legal framework. Many perpetrators of such acts are not brought to justice, especially when they are family members of the victim. This is particularly true if the perpetrator is the victim's father.
Iran's Islamic Penal Code includes a provision that fathers, and paternal grandfathers cannot be sentenced to death for killing their child or grandchild. Instead, they may face prison sentences and the obligation to pay "blood money" to the next of kin, typically the mother if demanded. Moreover, mothers have the authority to forgive the murderer entirely, waiving the blood money.
In cases of particularly violent crimes or those deemed to harm society, judges have the authority to impose additional sentences "on behalf of the public." However, the prevalence of honor killings in certain parts of Iran persists, largely due to the Islamic Republic's lenient laws and light sentences, which can encourage such behavior.
Advocates and organizations dedicated to women's rights and human rights have been calling for immediate action to address these pressing issues and ensure justice for victims like Mona.