A teenage bride who allegedly fled from her new husband with another man two days into their arranged marriage has been beheaded, according to reports.
The Iranian woman, 19, had been forced to wed her cousin, 23, who is then said to have tracked her down after a year before carrying out an ‘honour killing’.
Iran International TV reports the man handed himself into police in Abadan on Sunday night, still holding a bloodied knife and admitted to the killing due to her alleged infidelity.
He is said to have left her decapitated body next to the Bahmanshir River.
A police statement said: “A young bride ran away from home with another man two days after the wedding a year ago.
“The young groom searched for his wife for a year until he found her in Mashhad and gave himself to her under the pretext that he had forgiven her.”
In Iranian law, a man can kill his wife without repercussion if he catches her with another man.
Khuzestan, where the murder is said to have taken place, is known to be blighted with so-called honour killings, according to former Chief Justice Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi.
“Local custom allows these killings to take place, and the perpetrators of these killings are by no means fugitives,” he explained.
“Also, unfortunately, honour killings take place in this province in a very tragic way, and the victims’ family does not normally demand the punishment of the murderer.”
The Iranian Guardian Council recently approved a bill to protect minors against such killings, after delays were blamed for the murder of teenager Romina Ashrafi.
The 14-year-old was killed last month by her own father.
Despite outcries over her death, the council denied negligence and implied such crimes could not be prevented by the law.
Spokesman Abassali Kadkhodaei said: “A single law cannot solve problems of this kind, which has cultural, social and sometimes economic roots.”
However, editor of Iran International, Sadeq Saba, is one of many who claims not enough is being done to tackle the issue.
“The latest murder of the 19-year-old woman in Khuzestan, demonstrates that there are not enough protections in place for women across Iran,” he said.
“Although the regime denies that it is to blame for the number of honour killings in Iran, more must be done to protect vulnerable women in forced marriages.”