The Final Result for the Heinous Murder of Mona Heydari’s Case, the Injustice of the Judicial System

On February 5th, 2022, in Ahvaz, in front of the horrified eyes of the people, a young man beheaded his 17-year-old wife, Mona Heydari, who was also his cousin, and paraded the streets with holding her head in his hand. At the age of 12, Mona Heydari was forced by her family to marry her cousin Sajjad Heydarnava. When she was killed, she had a three-year-old son. The horrific murder of Mona by her husband and brother-in-law sparked public outrage.

Now, after 11 months has passed, the spokesperson of the judiciary has announced in a press conference that: “The parents of the deceased have “pardoned” him for the murder and in term of the private aspect of the case, the case has been closed.”

From the general aspect of this case, the primary suspect, Sajjad Heydarnava, has been sentenced to 7 and a half years of imprisonment, and from the general aspect of the charge of intentional beating, he has been sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment. And the accused in the second row Haider Heydarnava has been sentenced to 45 months in prison.

This is not the first time that the Islamic Republic Courts have been lenient toward “honor” killings and do not punish the murderer or consider a mild punishment for the criminal that is not in any way matched to the type and extent of the crime committed. While the issued sentences should be proportional to the severity and type of crime.

So far, the cases of “honor” killings have been given a personal (private) aspect and the murderers have often been exempted from punishment. This reduces the deterrence of committing crimes.

The people of Ahvaz still haven’t forgotten that a father put his 6-year-old daughter’s head on a spear and paraded around the city, and the court only sentenced him to 4 years in prison, not for killing his daughter, but for creating terror in the city! Since the killer of that girl was her father, he was not punished for the murder.

One of the reasons for the increase in “honor” killings in Iran is the government’s open support for such killings. By promoting “worship of honor” and the existence laws that leave the hands of father, brother, husband and grandfather free to kill the women of the family, not only has the systematic violence against women intensified, but also leaves the killers on the safe side of Sharia and the law.

For years, the ambiguity in the judgments issued by the courts of the Islamic government in Iran has questioned the legitimacy of these courts. Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 19-year-old woman who defended herself legitimately to prevent rape, was sentenced to death. Women’s rights activists have been sentenced to long sentences for the crime of holding educational workshops.

Hoda Amid was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment, 2 years of denial of some social rights and 2 years of deprivation of working as a lawyer, and Najmeh Vahedi was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment and 2 years of denial of some social rights. Mojgan Keshavarz was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison for opposing the mandatory hijab.

This means that the sentence issued for Hoda Amid is more than the sentence for Sajjad, a murderer who beheaded his wife in the most heinous way!

Inefficient and misogynistic judicial system and laws, promotion of gender stereotypes through textbooks, anti-women billboards in cities, encouraging youth to control women and “power” them through the pulpits of mosques, all contribute to the increase in “honor” killings and have a direct effect on the creation and strengthening of misogynistic culture.

Rezvan Moghaddam spokesperson’s  Stop honor Killings Campaign

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