Five days after the tragic murder of Mona Heydari (Ghazal), none of the Iranian regime’s top leaders or officials have condemned or taken a stand on it. Conversely, in a virtual meeting entitled “Investigating the Background and Consequences of a Social Tragedy,” some misogynist clerics justified the murder, calling the killer “oppressed.”
Ahmad Rahdar, director of an Islamic studies institute, told the virtual meeting that the murder was “primarily a matter of zeal,” which is one of the “examples of faith.”
The horrifying murder of Mona Heydari, a young woman from Ahvaz, has made headlines in recent days. Iran’s state media, facing an outraged public, have been trying to downplay this heart-wrenching crime to the level of an individual, family, or tribal issue.
The brutal murder of Mona Heydari shocked everyone
At 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, 2022, Sajjad Heydari, Mona’s husband and cousin, marched in Khashayar Square in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province in southwest Iran. With a dirty grin on his face, he was holding Mona’s head in his hand.
Mona Heydari, whose real name is Ghazal and who was only 17 years old, was forced into marriage at age 12 and had a 3-year-old son who now lives with his grandmother.
Mona was a victim of domestic violence. She had filed for divorce several times, but her family persuaded her to continue living with her husband for the sake of her child. Eventually, Mona fled to Turkey to escape her husband’s violence.
According to Abbas Hosseini Pouya, the prosecutor of Ahvaz, Mona’s father returned her to Iran. When her husband found out Mona was in Ahvaz, he dared to kill her. (The state-run IMNA news agency – February 8, 2022)
A few hours later, Sajjad Heydari and his brother, who were involved in the brutal murder of Mona Heydari, were arrested. It is unclear whether they will face any punishment.
60 unpunished honor killings in Khuzestan
A two-year investigation by the Reyhaneh Women’s Institute director in Ahvaz shows that 60 women, including 11- and 15-year-old girls, have been killed in Khuzestan during this period. Having collected the data through her colleagues, Atefeh Bervayeh believes that the number of murders is even higher.
According to this research, none of the killers of the 60 women has been punished so far. Even the families have not filed any complaints.
Referring to the brutal murder of Mona Heydari, a journalist said that it should not be called an honor killing. Mandana Sadeghi wrote in this regard: “This phrase of honor and its preservation and care has been a license for illegal actions such as murder and imprisonment until today.”
The outrageous reactions of women in the clerical regime
Ensieh Khazali, the Women and Family Directorate head, tweeted that the killer should be handed the death penalty but blamed the problem on “cultural shortcomings.” She called for the adoption of the bill to prevent violence against women and the legal loopholes to be rectified.
In the meantime, the female members of the mullahs’ parliament acknowledged that the issue was not urgent and would not be on the agenda until the budget bill was passed.
In response to a question about the timing of the bill to be floored, Elham Azad, a member of women’s faction in parliament, said: “We in the parliament are considering the New Year’s budget bill. In practice, I think the bill will not be considered in parliament until next year.” (The state-run ILNA news agency – February 8, 2022)
The brutal murder of Mona Heydari and others rooted in the state policies
Social catastrophes have political roots.
In the final analysis, the root cause must be attributed to the inhuman and misogynist clerical regime, which is the primary origin of the complexes of this period of Iranian history.
Women and girls are the prime victims of the regime’s inhuman ideology and policy. Before being committed by the husband’s knife or the father’s sickle, the beheadings of Mona Heydari or the 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi and others have already been sanctioned by numerous written and unwritten laws made by the medieval religious fascism.
The bottom line is that the gruesome statistics of honor killings in Iran are rooted in misogyny and the patriarchal culture institutionalized in Iranian law and society.
The people of Iran believe the mullahs’ medieval regime is the main culprit in the brutal murder of Mona Heydari and hundreds of other women. How can the execution of a man solve the rampant violence against women in Iran?
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran calls on all international organizations and personalities defending women’s rights to condemn the heinous situation of violence against women in Iran.