Young Woman Burned to Death by Father in what Islamic Penal Code Deems “Honor Killing”

Young Woman Burned to Death by Her Father

Early on Sunday, October 3,  news spread on social media of a young woman who was burned to death by her father in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Province.

HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, has identified the victim as 22-year-old Faezeh Maleki, who had been living in Dolat-Abad (Kurkureh), a village in Sanandaj county.

Reportedly, after she passed away in hospital, her father was beaten by some people, which led to the arrest of some of these attackers.

“Faezeh Maleki got divorced shortly after her marriage,” an informed source told HRANA. “Thereafter, she wanted to marry a young man but his parent disagreed with this marriage. Once some pictures showing the continuation of their relationship came into the hands of her father, he punished his daughter by burning her with gasoline.”

In a post on social media, the victim’s surgeon announced her death and mentioned having a boyfriend as the reason why his father committed this crime. He said that her father is still free. Thereafter, his post was taken down for unknown reasons.

“They send her to hospital but medical team could not save her life and she passed away from severe injuries,” the source added. “Some furious citizens beat her father, who is drug-addicted, in Eghbal Square in Sanandaj. Police detained the father and some of these attackers.”

According to Islamic penal codes, the severity of a sentence in cases of homicide is in large part determined by the wishes of the “blood avenger”, or closest relation to the victim. If a father is convicted of killing his child, however, he can then act as his own “blood avenger”, which almost always results in a significantly lighter sentence.

Typically, a father convicted of killing his child be sentenced to “Weregild payment” and relatively short imprisonment. As case investigations have shown, this system has at times encouraged parents to commit such so-called “honor killing”, because they are aware of the sentence leniency that will be afforded to them if convicted.

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