Saghi Laghaie
Last updated: 18 March, 2013

Iranian woman killed by her family on Women’s Day

Another honour killing occurred on International Women’s Day in Iran’s Kurdistan region, which brought waves of anger and hate among Iranian feminists and human rights activists.

Zaferan Mohamaadi, a woman from a village in Marivan county (Hezar-Khani) in the Kurdistan province of Iran, was murdered in public in front of the villagers, Firat News reported. Although honour killings are not rare, her murder on this symbolic day and with a government-licensed firearm is controversial.  

Zaferan got married at a young age and mothered five children. She lived a deprived life both financially and emotionally, according to sources. Her husband suspected infidelity and developed an immense sense of distrust and suspicion against her. He imposed an unbearable control over her life, to the point that she was no longer permitted to leave the house; prohibited from visiting her family. The extreme psychological and physical pressure made her file for a divorce. 

A while after the divorce, she decided to marry another man. He was rejected by her father and brothers, who threatened the couple. Zaferan and her future husband escaped to the village of Seyf Sofli. One week after settling in Seyf Sofli, her family managed to locate them. According to eyewitnesses, the man escaped the scene but Zaferan was captured and forced to return to her village of birth.

Upon her arrival to the village, she was promptly killed when strangled with ropes around her neck.

Zaferan’s family is in possession of a firearm licensed by the Islamic Republic to confront Kurdish rebels in the region. Reportedly, the villagers felt unable to intervene as Zaferan’s family had threatened to shoot anyone who tried to prevent the killing.

According to Firat News, the Islamic burial rituals were never held for Zaferan, instead her corpse was buried, without bathing and shrouding in a disrespectful, disgraceful and immoral manner. In addition, there was no funeral service held for her. 

As until today there has been no official investigation into her murder. More disturbingly, it is widely suspected that due to Zaferan’s family’s close ties with the IRI officials in the province, her death will not be investigated further.

It is perhaps a coincidence that this young Iranian woman’s homicide occurred on International Women’s Day, a worldwide phenomenon banned in Iran.

Any views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of Your Middle East.