Stop honor killings
Stop honor killings
The need to put an end to honor killings is urgent
Ms. Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women
Dr. Javid Rahman, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran
Mr. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
In 2020, the Stop Honor Killings Campaign sent a petition to Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Javid Rahman, and Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Dubravka Šimonovic. This petition was signed by more than 3,000 women and children rights activists, as well as 54 political groups, civil groups and organizations. After more than a year, the petition remains unanswered. Thus, we are reaching out once more to draw attention and bring action to the original points made in the petition.
Every year, hundreds of women and young girls are violently murdered by male family members in Iran under the guise of “maintaining honor”, all of which were met with indifference by the legislative and judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. After the murder of three young Iranian girls in less than two weeks in 2020, a group of Iranian women’s right and gender equality activists created the Stop Honor Killings Campaign to increase awareness and end these heinous crimes.
Honor killings of women and young girls at the hands of male family members has become widespread in recent years. In the 2020-released petition, the Stop Honor Killings Campaign warned the United Nations that these female homicides reached a critically dangerous level, and hundreds of additional honor killings have occurred since then. On February 5, 2022, a seventeen-year-old child marriage victim and mother to a three-year-old child, Mona Ghazal Heydari, was brutally murdered by her husband and cousin, Saijad Heydari, through a public beheading, after which he paraded the streets with her head to “maintain his honor”. This horrific incident sparked a wave of outrage and protest among both human rights activists and the everyday Iranian people.
A number of existing laws such as Articles 301, 302, 309, and 630, as well as the right of paternal family figures to own children and be the authority of households, pave the way for women and young girls to fall victim to men’s blind bigotry. According to the Islamic Penal Code, the punishment for a father who murdered his child is not proportional to the punishment of other murders. If the victim’s family member gives consent for the perpetrator to carry out the honor killing, all is forgiven in the eyes of the law. Thus, gender-based violence against women is now normalized and a common occurrence, a process that is facilitated by the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran and patriarchal traditions.
The Stop Honor Killings Campaign calls on Ms. Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, and Professor Javid Rahman, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, to ask the Islamic Republic of Iran to:
1. Abolish discriminatory laws against women that are the source of gender-based violence against women, and to include laws protecting equal right for men and women so that no one can freely murder women and girls through honor killings.
2. Establish safe houses and shelters in all parts of Iran to protect the lives of Iranian women and girls.
3. Join the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
4. Implement the protocols created in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
5. Eliminate gender-based discriminatory lessons and attitudes from textbooks and government media advertisements.
Honor killings have continued to take on new dimensions, both in Iran as well as other nations around the world, and the reach of these atrocities extends far beyond the borders of these nations. The Stop Honor Killings Campaign requests that the U.N. declare May 21st as the World Day to End Honor killings, in observation of the day Romina Ashrafi, a 14-year-old girl, was honor killed by her father with a sickle.
The need to put an end to honor killings is urgent. If we do not act today, we will see more honor killings in the future.
"Stop Honor Killings" Campaign