On May 12, 2020, in Sefid Sangan, Talesh, Gilan province, Iran, 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi was killed by her father, Reza Ashrafi, as she slept. This incident occurred shortly after the police had returned Romina to her parental home, following her elopement with 28-year-old Bahman Khavari. The event escalated to national and international prominence, resulting in Reza Ashrafi's conviction and a nine-year prison sentence.
Romina Ashrafi had eloped with Khavari in May 2020, against her family's wishes, due to religious differences and her age. Her father, feigning acceptance, deceived the couple into arranging a wedding ceremony only to arrive with the police, who then arrested them. Romina had expressed fears for her life before being forcibly returned home by the police.
The murder, executed by decapitation with a sickle, occurred within 24 hours of her return. Reza Ashrafi later justified the act as a means to "clear his honour" and had consulted a relative about the legality of honour killings under Islamic law.
Following her death, Romina was buried on June 5, 2020. The Gilan Province Criminal Court subsequently sentenced Reza Ashrafi to nine years in prison and ordered him to pay compensation to Romina's mother, Rana Dashti, who intends to appeal for a harsher penalty. Bahman Khavari was acquitted of abduction charges, with the court recognizing Romina's consent but was penalized for other charges.
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