A 19-year-old Iranian woman was allegedly beheaded by her husband after she ran away from him days after they got married.
Iran International TV reports a 23-year-old man has beheaded his wife in a violent “honour killing” after he tracked her down after a year of searching.
At around 10.30pm on Sunday night, the man handed himself in to police in the city of Abadan holding a bloody knife and telling officers that he had killed his wife due to infidelity.
It is reported that the man had beheaded his wife and left her decapitated body next to the Bahmanshir River.
Police said in a statement: “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.”
According to Iranian law, a man can kill his wife without punishment if he catches her with another man, but the young woman’s attempt to leave her husband has led to local media reports citing her as the “runaway bride”.
The tragedy took place in the Khuzestan province of Iran, which is known to have a problem with so- called honour killings.
According to social pathologists, many men who commit them suffer from physical and mental illnesses and consider their wives and daughters to be their property.
Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, the former Chief Justice of Khuzestan Province, considers the spate of killings to be a serious problem in the province.
He said: “Local custom allows these killings to take place, and the perpetrators of these killings are by no means fugitives.
“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.”
Violence against women has become a political issue in the region.
Iranian Guardian Council recently approved a bill to protect minors, after the law’s delay was blamed for the murder of Romina Ashrafi, who was killed last month by her father.
Following initial outcry over Romina’s death, the Iranian top body responded by denying negligence and implying that such crimes would not be prevented by the law.
The spokesman for the Guardian Council, Abassali Kadkhodaei said: “A single law cannot solve problems of this kind, which has cultural, social and sometimes economic roots”.
However, some claim not enough is being down to tackle the problem.
Editor of Iran International Sadeq Saba said: “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 added: “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.”