Video shows a grinning Iranian man walking through the streets of Ahvaz in southwest Iran while carrying the severed head of his 17-year-old wife, whom he had reportedly murdered with his brother in an “honor killing.”
Sajjad Heydari carried the head of his wife Mona Heydari in one hand and a blade in the other, East2West News reported, according to The New York Post.
“Mona, who also was Sajjad’s cousin, had been forced to marry him when she was just 12 years old, according to the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran,” The Post noted.
The couple have a three-year-old son. That fact was reportedly used to pressure Mona to stay despite domestic abuse and a wish for divorce, but she escaped to Turkey. “Her father helped the husband, who is his nephew, to bring the woman back to the country,” Iran International reported.
Only days after her return, “Sajjad and his brother allegedly tied her hands and chopped off her head. Her body was dumped before her husband paraded through the streets with her head,” the Post reported. The two men have reportedly been arrested.
After the Rokna news agency published the video of Sajjad Heydari walking through the streets with his wife’s head, Iran’s media watchdog reportedly shut the news agency down.
“A police official said the motive for the murder was ‘family differences,” the Post reported.
Warning: Graphic video below:
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran stated:
Not a week goes by without some form of honor killing making headlines. The clerical regime’s failure to criminalize these murders has led to a catastrophic rise in honor killings. In a report published in 2019, the state-run Sharq daily newspaper wrote that an annual average of 375 to 450 honor killings are recorded in Iran. …
The catastrophic rise in honor killings in Iran is rooted in misogyny and the patriarchal culture institutionalized in the laws and society. … Although the father, brother or husband holds the knife, sickle or rifle, the murders are rooted in the medieval outlook of the ruling regime. The clerical regime’s laws officially denote that women are second-degree citizens owned by men.
Iran International added, “According to a women’s right NGO in Ahvaz, about 60 women have fallen victim to honor killings in the past two years, including some who were 10 or 15 years old. None of the perpetrators have been brought to justice as most of the families haven’t even filed a lawsuit.”
In May 2020, the father of a 13-year-old girl in Iran beheaded her with a farming sickle while she was sleeping, reputedly as an “honor killing” for falling in love with an older man. Romina Ashrafi, who lived in Hovigh, Talesh county, had fled her home after her father said he was furious that she planned to marry 35-year-old Bahamn Khavari.
The families of both Khavafri and Romina contacted authorities, triggering a five-day search that culminated with Romina being returned to her home, despite the fact that Romina said her life would be endangered by returning home. The father later turned himself in to police as he held the bloody sickle.