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Iran: 17-year-old girl beheaded by her husband


Mona Heydari, a 17-year-old woman forcibly married to her cousin, was beheaded by him in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran, on Saturday February 5.

A harrowing video, circulating on social media, shows the suspected murderer, Sajjad Heydari, in the streets of the city with the girl’s head in one hand and holding a large knife in the other. His victim was the mother of a 3-year-old boy from a forced marriage. She had tried several times to divorce, exhausted from the domestic violence she suffered. According to an Iranian committee for the defense of women, the Women’s Committee NCRI, each time the young woman wanted a divorce, her family had dissuaded her.

Mona Heydari then escaped from her executioner by leaving for Turkey. But having neither financial aid nor family there, she finally returned to her country of origin. She had allowed herself to be convinced by her brother, who had promised her that she would finally be safe in his home. But it was a trap, because her husband and his brother were waiting for her.

An unpunished crime?

Only days after she returned, they tied her up and murdered her. The murderer threw the body into the sea, before showing off in the terrible video circulating on the internet.

Even if the murderers have been arrested, they could escape conviction. Iran allows a man to kill his wife, sister or niece if she is unfaithful, or even to kill a homosexual child. The victim being suspected of adultery, Sajjad Heydari evoked the “honor killing” in order to justify his act. The Women’s Committee NCRI has also noted a significant increase in “honor killings” in Iran since 2019.