Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Islamic republic of Iran are considered as one of the most dangerous and unsafe countries for women in the world, because of the increasing rate of crimes against women in the shape of honor killing and honor related violence. Which are known as assaults committed against women for what is considered immoral behavior. Some researchers and Islamic scholars links act of honor killing with Islam, they tried to justify this crime with some general sayings of The Prophet.
A shocking video captured an Iranian man grinning as he walked through the streets clutching the severed head of his 17-year-old wife — whom he decapitated in an “honor killing,” according to a report.
The gruesome footage shows Sajjad Heydari strolling through a neighborhood in Ahvaz, a city in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, on Saturday with Mona Heydari’s head in one hand and a blade in the other, East2West News reported.
Mona, who also was Sajjad’s cousin, had been forced to marry him when she was just 12 years old, according to the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
She reportedly suffered domestic abuse but was pressured to stay put for the sake of their 3-year-old son, even though she had expressed her wish to divorce the brute.
The teen finally escaped to Turkey but returned after finding it tough to live alone in another country, the news outlet reported.
A few days later, Sajjad and his brother allegedly tied her hands and chopped off her head. Her body was dumped before her husband paraded through the streets with her head.
A police official said the motive for the murder was “family differences.”
The two men were reportedly arrested, but it was unclear what punishment they are likely to face.
Abbas Hosseini-Pouya, prosecutor general of Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Khuzestan, said Mona had sent photos of herself to her husband from Turkey that had fueled his “negative emotions,” according to Iran International.
The women’s committee said that “not a week goes by without some form of honor killing making headlines. The clerical regime’s failure to criminalize these murders has led to a catastrophic rise in honor killings.
“In a report published in 2019, the state-run Sharq daily newspaper wrote that an annual average of 375 to 450 honor killings are recorded in Iran,” the resistance council said.
“The catastrophic rise in honor killings in Iran is rooted in misogyny and the patriarchal culture institutionalized in the laws and society,” the group continued.
“Although the father, brother or husband holds the knife, sickle or rifle, the murders are rooted in the medieval outlook of the ruling regime. The clerical regime’s laws officially denote that women are second-degree citizens owned by men,” it added.
Meanwhile, the state-run news agency Rokna was reportedly shut down after it published the shocking video.
The legal aspects of honor killings in different countries are discussed below:
Yemen: laws effectively exonerate fathers who kill their children;also the blood money paid for females that are killed is less than that for males that are killed.
Iran: Article 630 exempts a husband from punishment if he kills his wife or her lover upon discovering them in the act of adultery; article 301 stipulates that a father and paternal grandfather are not to be retaliated against for killing their child/grandchild.
Jordan: In recent years, Jordan has amended its Code to modify its laws which used to offer a complete defense for honor killings.
Syria: In 2009, Article 548 of the Syrian Law code was amended. Beforehand, the article waived any punishment for males who murdered a female family member for inappropriate sexual acts. Article 548 states that “He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants, descendants or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from a reduced penalty, that should not be less than two years in prison in case of killing.” Article 192 states that a judge may opt for reduced punishments (such as short-term imprisonment) if the killing was done with an honorable intent. In addition to this, Article 242 says that a judge may reduce a sentence for murders that were done in rage and caused by an illegal act committed by the victim.
In Brazil, an explicit defense to murder in case of adultery has never been part of the criminal code, but a defense of “honor” (not part of the criminal code) has been widely used by lawyers in such cases to obtain acquittals. Although this defense has been generally rejected in modern parts of the country (such as big cities) since the 1950s, it has been very successful in the interior of the country. In 1991 Brazil’s Supreme Court explicitly rejected the “honor” defense as having no basis in Brazilian law.
Turkey: In Turkey, persons found guilty of this crime are sentenced to life in prison. There are well documented cases, where Turkish courts have sentenced whole families to life imprisonment for an honor killing. The most recent was on 13 January 2009, where a Turkish Court sentenced five members of the same Kurdish family to life imprisonment for the honor killing of Naile Erdas, 16, who got pregnant as a result of rape.
Pakistan: Honor killings are known as karo kari (Sindhi: ڪارو ڪاري) (Urdu: کاروکاری). The practice is supposed to be prosecuted under the ordinary killing, but in practice police and prosecutors often ignore it. Often a man must simply claim the killing was for his honor and he will go free. Nilofar Bakhtiar, advisor to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, stated that in 2003, as many as 1,261 women were killed in honor killings. The Hudood Ordinances of Pakistan, enacted in 1979 by then ruler General Zia-ul-Haq. The law had the effect of reducing the legal protections for women, especially regarding sex outside of the marriage. This law made it that much riskier for women to come forward with accusations of rape. In 2006, the Women’s Protection Bill amended these Hudood Ordinances. On 8 December 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a new law that made honor killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases. In 2016, Pakistan repealed the loophole which allowed the perpetrators of honor killings to avoid punishment by seeking forgiveness for the crime from another family member, and thus be legally pardoned.
Egypt: Several studies on honor crimes by The Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, includes one which reports on Egypt’s legal system, noting a gender bias in favor of men in general, and notably article 17 of the Penal Code: judicial discretion to allow reduced punishment in certain circumstance, often used in honor killings case.
Haiti: In 2005, the laws were changed, abolishing the right of a husband to be excused for murdering his wife due to adultery. Adultery was also decriminalized.
Uruguay: until December 2017, article 36 of the Penal Code provided for the exoneration for murder of a spouse due to “the passion provoked by adultery”. The case of violence against women in Uruguay has been debated in the context that it is otherwise a liberal country; nevertheless domestic violence is a very serious problem; according to a 2018 United Nations study, Uruguay has the second-highest rate of killings of women by current or former partners in Latin America, after Dominican Republic.
Philippines: Killing one’s spouse upon being caught in the act of adultery or one’s daughter upon being caught in the act of premarital sex is punished by destierro (Art. 247)(destierro is banishment from a geographical area for a period of time). Philippine maintains several other traditionalist laws: it is the only country in the world (except Vatican City) that bans divorce; it is one of 20 countries that still has a marry-your-rapist law (that is, a law that exonerates a rapist from punishment if he marries the victim after the attack); and Philippine is also one of the few non-Muslim majority countries to have a criminal law against adultery (Philippine’s adultery law also differentiates by gender defining and punishing adultery more severely if committed by women – see articles Articles 333 and 334)