Husband Confesses to Murder of 14-Year-Old Mobina Souri

Five days after news broke of the death of 14-year-old Mobina Souri, her husband confessed to having committed the murder. Souri is the victim of  what is classified under Islamic Law as an “honor killing”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, “honor crimes” or “honor killings” are acts of assault or murder, usually towards women and usually committed by male relatives.

Under Islamic Law, in murder cases where the (usually-female) victim has been accused of “disgracing the family’s honor”, exemptions and sentence reductions are frequently granted to the murderers.

The scope of the ways “disgracing family honor” can be defined is extremely broad; women and girls can be accused for being victims of rape, getting a divorce (even from an abusive husband), committing adultery, or being suspected of having sexual relations before marriage.

14-year-old Mobina was also a victim of child marriage and was married to the young cleric in her village who ultimately killed her. The other suspects were released after the husband confessed.


Domestic violence increased during coronavirus quarantines and stay-at-home orders

Mahmoud Aligoo, the head of the department of social harms of the State Welfare Organization reported an increase in the number of domestic violence and child abuse by assessing the number of calls made to the national director of Iran’s social emergency hotline. On April 1, 2020, Behzad Vahidnia, the head of counseling and psychology of the State Welfare Organization of Iran reported that the number of calls related to family conflicts during the quarantine times after coronavirus outbreak has been tripled.

Increasing awareness of families regarding how to treat women and girls especially in small cities and rural areas, teaching life skills from childhood, before marriage, after marriage, and before a child is born, researching on the methods to prevent domestic violence, and finally, revising the laws according to the current situations are some of the solutions to overcome violence against women.

Mr. Aligoo also pointed out that the increase in the number of child abuse and domestic violence during this time is because the Iranian middle-class families have been quarantining more seriously which resulted in heightened risk for domestic violence. Vahidinia added that approximately 60% of calls were related to family conflicts. Moreover, unemployment and financial hardship caused by coronavirus outbreak are important factors to the increased domestic violence. “if there are conflicts and mental conflicts, it is because of the poor economic situation in the society. People have to stay home because of the quarantine and thus, they are affected by the financial hardships, they are more in face-to-face contact with each other, there is a higher chance of quarrels, negligence, and emotional destructions and therefore, these factors will contribute in increasing domestic violence. Specifically, domestic violence against the elderly is a very important category of domestic violence” says Vahidinia.

Increase in violence against children

According to Shahrvand News Agency’s report quoting some of the children’s rights activists, there has been an increase in physical and verbal conflicts with children staying at home. Yasaman Dadvar who is responsible for the Sedaye Yar, the first hotline that offers counsel to children and teenagers, says that “quarantine has caused trouble for the families who were not ready for it. Small income and not having enough savings or the opportunity to work remotely has caused tensions in the families. To overcome such tensions, parents and children would need a set of skills but most of the families lack such skills. And this can lead to increased violence against children.”

In February 2019, Habibollah Masoudi Farbod, deputy of social affairs of the State’s Welfare Organization announced that during the year before, there were a million calls made to the national director of Iran’s social emergency hotline from which about 11 thousand calls were related to child abuse and about 10 thousand were related to violence against women.

According to the report compiled by HRANA in 2019, there were 1290 cases of child abuse, 31 cases of rape and sexual assault of children, 10 cases of children being murdered and 31 cases of child suicides.

Increase in Domestic Violence in Tehran; More Than 16 Thousand Cases Were Filed


The head of the Medical Examiner’s Office of Tehran province, Masoud Ghadi pasha, announced that more than 16 thousand and 420 cases were reported to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Tehran has the sixth place in domestic violence in Iran. He added that the cases with injuries caused by fight was increased by 8.6 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. This numbers grows to 4.1 percent in the spring of 2019. Ghadi Pasha claimed that Tehran is a major hub to file a case with the Medical Examiner’s Office having 20 centers servicing the citizens and added that Tehran’s Medical Examiner’s Office conducts 19 per cent of all the Medical Examinations in the country. The Public Relation’s department of the Medical Examiner’s Office earlier announced that more than 153,000 cases of injuries in fight have filed a case this spring which shows an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to the same duration last year.

The national director of Iran’s social emergency hotline said that 30% of reports called into the center are flagging some form of “domestic violence,” 30% of which turn out to be child abuse cases. Of this 30%, 50% were related to educational negligence, 30% to physical abuse, 15% to psychological abuse, and 4% to sexual abuse of children.