Shock in Iran after a man beheaded his teenage wife

Mona Haidari, 17, died on Sunday in the murder committed by her husband and brother in the city of Ahvas, the capital of Khuzestan province in the southwest of the country, according to the ISNA news agency.

The agency indicated that the husband carried the severed head of his wife and walked with it in the street.

A video tape circulated on the communication sites showed the husband walking with a broad smile on his face, holding a severed head in his left hand, and a knife in the right.

And the official “IRNA” news agency stated, on Monday, that the police arrested the husband and his brother “during a raid on their hideout.”

The media did not explain the motive for the crime, but put it in the context of “honour killings”.

The horrific crime sparked a widespread shock that was reflected in the local press and among users of communication sites, especially after the spread of the husband’s video, in which he appeared to be proud of what he had done.

On Tuesday, the Sazandeki newspaper published a large graphic of the victim on its front page with the headline “Blind Love”.

The newspaper wrote: “A human being was beheaded, his head was carried in the streets and the killer looked proud (of what he had done). How can we accept such a tragedy? We must act so that the killing of women is not repeated.”

For her part, filmmaker Yahmaneh Melani, known for her feminist activism, said in a comment on her Instagram account that “Mona is a victim of devastating ignorance, we are all responsible for this crime.”

In the wake of the crime, many Iranians called on the authorities to reform the law protecting women from domestic violence, and to raise the minimum legal age for marriage for girls, which is currently set at 13 years.

According to local media, Haidari was only 12 years old when she got married, and they have a three-year-old child.

Shargh newspaper quoted lawyer Ali Mojtabazadeh as saying that “the legal shortcomings (in the field) of protecting women, granting them more independence and setting a rational age for marriage, give way to honor killings.”

For her part, Iranian parliamentarian Ilham Nadav considered that such crimes are committed because “there is no tangible step taken to prevent violence against women,” according to what was quoted by the “ILNA” news agency.

On the sidelines of this case, the Iranian authorities took a decision to shut down the “Rukna” news site after it published the tape circulating of the man after killing his wife.

IRNA quoted Iman Shamsai, responsible for local media at the Ministry of Culture and Guidance, as saying that the site was closed “because it caused psychological distress to members of society by publishing painful pictures of a murdered woman.”

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