Journalist Sina Ghalandari Sentenced to 27 Months Imprisonment for Publicizing Killing of 14-Year-Old Mobina Souri

Recently, journalist Gholam-Hossein (Sina) Ghalandari was sentenced to 27 months in prison and a two year ban from journalistic work after publicizing the “honor killing” of 14-year-old Mobina Souri.

Grounded on Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, from this sentence, a severest punishment of 13 months and 16 days is enforceable.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 102 of the Criminal Court of Kuhdasht City sentenced Sina Ghalandari, in absentia, to 13 months and 16 days on a charge of “spreading lies”. Moreover, he was sentenced to 13 months and 16 days and a two year ban from working as a journalist on a charge of “invasion of privacy by publishing private images”.

Sina Ghalandari reported on the murder of Mobina Souri, a 14-year-old girl who was murdered by her husband after being suspected of having an affair. Mobina was a victim of a 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.

In September, Ghalandari was arrested by the order of the District Prosecutor following complaints from Mobina’s family. He was released on September 18, 2021, after spending 11 days in detention.

“I published the news and three hours later, Rokna published incorrect news about that,” commented Ghalandari about his arrest. “Thereafter, FATA Police raided my relatives’ house while I was staying there as a guest. They treated me and my relatives badly. The prosecutor rebuked me and told me that I should not have published the news. He asked his assistant to punish me severely so that I never publish such news anymore.”

Sina Ghalandar is a resident of Kuhdasht and runs a Telegram channel named “Lorestan Telegram Radio”.

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.