Iran's president is calling for laws that would carry harsher penalties for honor killings after a father allegedly beheaded his 14-year-old daughter with a farming sickle. Romina Ashrafi fled her home in Talesh, some 200 miles northwest of Tehran, with her 34-year-old boyfriend after her father objected to them marrying, according to local media reports. When police discovered the pair after five days, Romina was returned to her father, though she told officers that she feared for her life, reports the AP. She was reportedly attacked as she slept on Thursday night, per the BBC. Reports suggest she was decapitated. Her father, Reza Ashrafi, then walked outside the home "with the sickle in his hand and confessed," according to one report.
The case has prompted a nationwide outcry. "Romina is neither the first nor will she be the last victim of honor killings," says Shahindokht Molaverdi, a former vice-president for women and family affairs, per the BBC. She adds honor killings will continue "as long as the law and dominant cultures in local and global communities are not deterring enough." A father convicted of murdering his daughter receives three to 10 years in prison under Iranian law, though other murders can carry a death sentence. However, President Hassan Rouhani urged his Cabinet to adopt tougher laws on Wednesday, citing Romina's case, per the AP. (Read more honor killings stories.)