Honor killing in Iran: 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki set on fire by father for having a boyfriend

Faezeh Maleki
Age at death: 22 years
Burned alive: 3 October 2021
Residence: Korkoreh (Kurdish province, Iran)
Origin: Iran
Children: none
Perpetrator: her father Habibollah Maleki is accused
Excuse: She had a boyfriend

On Saturday, October 2, at 22:30, 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki was admitted to Kosar Hospital in Sanandaj, Iran, with severe burns. At least 85 percent of her body was burned and she died of her injuries a day later.

Sunday Dr. Iman Navabi published the news on his instagram page, “Her father had burned 85% of her body with gasoline just because she had a boyfriend. I will not share her photos because of the severity of her injuries.”

Women’s rights activists claim that Faezeh Maleki, who recently divorced her husband, was the victim of an alleged honor killing.

Activists accuse Maleki’s father of drenching her in petrol and setting her on fire in the family’s garden in the village of Dolatabad in Kurdistan Province.

The death of Maleki on October 3 led to small but rare protests in towns in Kurdistan, with female protesters demanding that the judicial authorities conduct a professional investigation into her death.

According to activists, Maleki had a boyfriend at the time of her death. In some conservative rural areas, Iranian girls and women who have relationships with men outside of marriage are targets of violence, sometimes resulting in death.

Meleki’s boyfriend said she was full of life and was not the type for suicide. Neighbors report that Meleki repeatedly screamed, “My father set me on fire.”

Maleki’s family maintains that she suffered from depression and set herself on fire, a claim rejected by her alleged boyfriend. The family has also claimed that Maleki’s father, Habibollah Maleki, suffered burns to his face and hands when he tried to save his daughter.

“Her father set her on fire, but now her father and family want to pretend that Faezeh set herself on fire,” said a hospital employee.

The forensic doctor stated that since there is no private plaintiff, nothing can be done about the judicial investigation and complaint.

Dr. Iman Nabavi had to remove his post on Instagram under pressure and threats from security forces. Mohammad Jabbari, the Sanandaj prosecutor, also announced that Iman Nabavi’s action of publishing this post is a kind of offense.

We already have many stories of honor killings in our archives. Habibollah Maleki would not be the first murderer to suffer injuries while carrying out his outrage. We are happy to receive any leads!

Lives Not Just Numbers – Femicide Map Iran

  • Many acts of femicide happen in silence, behind closed doors. Victims are sometimes left on desolate routes or quietly buried, some without headstones that mark their names. For these reasons, obtaining accurate data on femicide is a challenging task. StopFemicideIran assembles statistics and information about cases of femicide in Iran. We utilize multiple sources including local and national news, social media and grassroots reports.
  •  Although acts of femicid occur in all parts of the country, based on available data, they are most prominent in 5 provinces
  • Although given the current laws it is not easy to hold the perpetrators accountable for these murders, from a sociological perspective, it is important to understand the profile of perpetrators who commit these murders. According to the available data, most murders of women are committed by spouses, brothers, and fathers, but they are all committed by sons, cousins, inlaws, and others.

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