Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for new protections for women after a 14-year-old girl was allegedly murdered by her father in a so-called “honor killing,” sparking outrage in the country.
Romina Ashrafi’s father is suspected of killing her with a farming sickle after she ran away from her family home in northern Iran’s Talesh county with a 29-year-old man, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Police have arrested the teenager’s father. Ashrafi’s death has been widely covered by Iranian media across reformist, moderate and pro-government news outlets.
It is unclear whether the 29-year-old man will face criminal charges.
Amnesty International condemned the killing and called on authorities to ensure full “accountability” for the crime.
“We call on Iran’s authorities & lawmakers to end the impunity for violence against women/girls & criminalize domestic violence. They must amend Article 301 of the Penal Code to ensure accountability proportionate to the severity of the crime, without resort to the death penalty,” Amnesty said in a statement on Twitter, Thursday.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Article 301 reduces punitive measures for fathers involved in so-called “honor killings.”
Rouhani has expressed “regret” over Ashrafi’s death. During a cabinet meeting in Tehran, the President “ordered accelerated study and ratification” of a bill that protects women against violence, Fars reported Thursday.