The nationwide protests over the murder of a teenage girl in Iran led to the adoption of new law after 11 years of delay. Romina Ashrafi, a 14-year-old was beheaded by her father with a farmer sickle for dishonoring the family by eloping with her boyfriend. This incident questioned the lack of proper legal framework to protect the rights of women and children in Iran.

The new law criminalizes the emotional or physical abuse of a child. Abandoning a child, forced child labour and preventing them from education is also considered to be a crime under the current law. According to Shariah mandate of “an eye for an eye”, death penalty is imposed for murder in Iran. But the father of Romina can only be jail sentenced for a maximum of 10 years as fathers are considered guardians who are exempted from death penalty as per the Islamic penal code.

(By- M. Soujanya)