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Honor Killings and the Struggle for Women’s Rights in Iran – Raise the Voices

Rayhaneh Ameri, whose death was caused by profuse bleeding
(Source: Iran International)

Despite international outcries, the Islamic Government has attempted to cover-up the sentencing reduction of the perpetrator by asserting that Rayhaneh’s father killed her with an iron bar, which contradicted initial news coverage. Furthermore, Colonel Yousefi insisted that her father killed her due to his anger and had regretted his actions, despite the initial investigation report recording that Rayhaneh’s father had “proudly” confessed to the murdering of his daughter.

Within the same month, in the City of Kermanshah, Somayeh Fathi, a married and pregnant woman was forced to drink aluminum phosphide, a type of rat poison, by her own father and brothers for having an affair with a younger man. According to Hengaw, Fathi’s family did not mourn her death and no perpetrator was arrested for her murder. In response, officials denied the credibility of the reports, referring to them as mere fabrications created by dissidents. A human rights activist told IranWire that:

The Islamic Republic’s record over the years shows that it easily conceals the truth…of course, [trusting local sources more than the police] may be wrong, but just as much as there is a possibility of the news being a mistake, there is the possibility of concealment by the police.

The so-called “honor” killing is a contentious topic within Iranian society, with some members calling for the repeal of honor killing laws, whereas other members defend honor killing laws by asserting that “the laws for violence against women are enough.”

The killing of Romina reflects the fundamental issues of modern Iranian society: women’s rights. Women have been significantly objectified, mistreated, and abused since the Islamic revolution. For example, even nowadays they are strictly confined to wear certain clothes and dance with only family members in public. Multiple Iranian women’ rights advocates are in either exile or prison, for women’s rights movements had been criminalized by the government, claiming it threatened national security. Women can face stoning as the death penalty for adultery.

What can we do?
In order to achieve the abolishment of this bloody practice, the international community must make serious strides. Action must be taken in the United Nations, as well as on U.S. soil, to prevent and combat violence against women in Iran and other places afflicted by honor killings.Here are some first steps for you to take:

Indeed, we are living in a time where crimes and atrocities are being exposed and normalized more than ever before. However, it’s important to remember that history teaches us that when attention is paid to previously legalized human rights violations and actions are taken against this normalization, changes will occur, with the endeavor of all the people who believe in the better nature of humanity. So, please act today to build us a better future tomorrow.

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