Feb. 11 – A 17-year-old girl was beheaded by her husband in Iran in a so-called honor killing after she fled to Turkey to escape marital violence.
Mona Heydari was killed in Ahvaz by her husband and brother-in-law after being lured back to Iran by her father. Following the beheading, her husband, Sajjad Heydari, walked around Iran’s streets carrying his wife’s head and a knife, smiling as video footage was taken of the incident.
The murder reignited calls in Iran to protect women from so-called honor killings which are widespread in some parts of the country. Mona, who was 14 when she gave birth to her first child, leaves behind a 3-year-old son.
A semi-official tribunal in London which indicted 160 Iranian officials for “crimes against humanity” has been heavily criticized by Iran’s government.
The Aban Tribunal — named after the month of Aban and the November 2019 protests in which several hundred peaceful protestors were shot or injured by security officials — was called a “theatrical show” by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh.
Khatibzadeh also said Tehran had voiced “serious protests” to the UK about London acting as a “hub” for foreign news outlets hostile to Iran’s government. The Tribunal’s verdicts are not legally enforceable but groups who organized the event said the files for the hearings had been sent to the International Criminal Court for further investigation.
And the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain should “stand by its obligations” and repay a historic debt owed to Iran, after it was revealed that a deal to free detained dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe last summer had fallen through.
Wallace made the comment in an interview with Times Radio and added that the UK was still trying to find a way to repay the funds while sanctions against Iran remained in place.
The multi-million dollar debt has been linked to Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s detention, whose arrest has been called out by several state leaders and human rights campaigners as a form of leverage for repayment of the debt.