Romina Ashrafi: Iran should abolish Article 301 of the Penal Code

Romina Ashrafi
Age of death: 13
decapitated: 21 May 2020
Residence: Talesh, Iran
Origin: Iran
Children: she was a child herself
Perpetrator: her father Reza Ashrafi (37 years)
Excuse: She had a boyfriend

13 year old Romina Ashrafi had run away from home with her boyfriend Bahamn Khavari (35 years old) after her father had objected to their marriage.

Their families called the police and asked them to track them down and bring them back. After a five-day flight, the couple was arrested by the police.

Romina was forcibly given to her family by the police, despite pleas and claims that she feared for her life.

On the evening of Thursday 21 May, Romina Ashrafi is beheaded in her sleep with an farming sickle by her father Reza Ashrafi.

After the crime he walked out and confessed the murder. The police then took him into custody.

In Iran, fathers who murder their daughters for honor are hardly punished because of Article 301 of the Penal Code. If he is found guilty by judges, he will be sentenced to between three and ten years imprisonment. In a court case in 2013, a court in Tehran has decided that a father will only be sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for stabbing his daughter to death because of a quarrel over her marriage.


The term Femicide came to light when Diana E. H. Russel used the term while testifying to the women attending the first International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women In Brussels, Belgium in 1976. The term is defined as “the killing of females by males because they are female” and it encompasses all types of killing of females. While there is no internationally accepted definition, the term “femicide” is commonly used to describe the intentional killing of women and girls because of their gender. The most severe form of gender-based violence against women and girls, femicide requires the perpetrator to have a gender-related motive for the killing. Such motives may include the desire to exercise power over females or prevent or punish them for socially unacceptable female behavior, assumptions of entitlement and ownership over women and girls, pleasure, or sadistic desires towards females. Most femicides are committed by the victims’ husbands or male relatives in the privacy of the home. Femicides may however also occur in the public sphere and include different modi operandi and relationships between victims and perpetrators.


In the context of the Middle East, including Iran, a common form of femicide are so-called “honor killings,” which are defined as the killing of women and girls for the sake of preserving the family’s honor. The perpetrators are typically male family members who – sometimes with the support of the matriarchs – kill another female family member for acts that allegedly go against societal traditions, wrongly interpreted religious demands, or the family’s reputation. Such acts may include perceived sexual or behavioral transgressions or cases of incest and rape.

Femicide Map Iran

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