Stop honor Killings in Iran
Statement by a group of women activists and advocates of gender equality
We, the undersigned, both inside Iran and abroad, announce the formation of an urgent
campaign to stop “honor” Killings in Iran. This crucial Campaign is in response to the increase in
the systematic violence against women and the growing number of murders of women and
young girls by male family members on the pretext of preserving family’s “honor”.
The inadequacy of the laws and the judiciary system, under the protection of the governing
Sharia and the perpetrators often receive disproportionally light sentences , have failed to
prevent such crimes, and perpetrators have received disproportionally light sentences.
Victims of “honor” killings are often women and young girls who have refused forced
marriages, filed for divorce, demanded freedom to make decisions objected to by the family
and…. They are murdered in the most brutal methods ways, by axe, sickle, poison, and….
Familial, ethnic and tribal traditions and prejudices, condoned by religious and judicial
institutions, together with the prevailing patriarchal culture allow the continuation of “honor”
killings in the total silence of the state media.
Women and children along with other marginalized groups of gender, sex, religious and ethnic
minorities are not protected by law; therefore many incidents of “honor” killings are not
registered in the official databases.
Sharia laws, in particular articles of the Islamic Penal Code, together with the discriminatory
viewpoints of the legislators and the judiciary system, allow men to kill women and young girls
in their kinship with impunity. Fourteen years old Romina Ashrafi was beheaded by her father.
He received only a nine years sentence. The murderer of twenty two-years old Fatemeh Barhi,
another recent victim of “honor” killing in Iran, was freed from prison after serving only two
We believe that the laws must protect the society’s interest and the people, regardless of
gender, religious beliefs, ethnicity and race. Ancient tribal beliefs and practices must be
replaced, and equality for all should be at the center of the legislation. Progressive laws are
essential if society is to move forward.
Our Campaign demands an end to killing women in order to preserve the man’s “honor”.
Changing culture through an overhaul of the curriculum for public education, teaching the
concept of equal rights for all, and providing practical instructions at all levels are crucial
components of the desired transformation. Removing discriminatory laws from the legislations
and replacing them with the international standards of equality, human rights and fundamental
freedoms are also other necessary steps to be taken.
Our Campaign demands safety for women in Iran. As an urgent measure, the Islamic Republic is
obliged to guarantee the safety of Iranian women at risk by establishing safe houses throughout
Our campaign demands that the Islamic Republic ratifies the UN Convention on the Elimination
of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It also strongly asks that the Islamic
Republic complies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
In recognition of the above points, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters in the
neighboring countries who suffer from the same predicament, and ensure that no woman and
girl is murdered by men within our orbit.
We, the undersigned, declare that the existence of laws based on equal and equitable rights
and human dignity are of imminent necessity in Iran. We will do all in our power to remove the
threat of violence, and prevent murderers of women by men in their kinship under the pretext
of “honor” killing.
Afsaneh Ebadi, Afsaneh Khajavi, Akhtar Bazazi, Alieyeh Eghdamdoost, Awin Mostafazadeh, Azimi
Parvaneh, Elahe Amani, Fariba Boghraty, Fariba Davodimohajer, Farida Razavi, Faride Musapur,
Fariedeh Farasat, Farkhondeh Jafari, Fereshteh Abadi, Hajar Kabiri, Homa Moradi, Jawanmir
Marabi, Jila Golanbar, Kawsar Fattahi, Mahshid Pegahi, Maryam Moghadampour, Maryam
Moradi, Maryam Rahmani, Maryam Ahari, Mazin Amani, Mehrangiz Kar, Mehri Jafari, Mina
Khanlarzadeh, Mitra Mahmoudi, Monireh Kazemi, Nahid Nosrat, Nahid Tavasoli, Nasrin
Nakhshab, Nayereh Tohidi, Nazy Ardalan, Nilofar Damavandi, Pardis Ghandhari, Parvaneh
Hosseini, Parvaneh Shahriari Nejad, Parvin Malek, Parvin Zabihi, Rezvan Moghaddam, Rouhi
Shafii, Rouhi Shiranipour, Roya Kashefi, Ruja Kia, Sabri Najafi, Sahar Beit-Mashal, Sariyeh Sahabi,
Sevda Alimadadnejad, Shahin Navai, Shahin Zabihi, Shahla Entesari, Shahla Jahanbeen, Sholeh
Zamini, Sohiela Vahdati, Sorour Sorouri, Soudeh Rad, Sudi Farookhnia, Tahereh Badri, Taraneh
Roosta, Zahra Rahimpuor .