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Khamenei Twitter Demands "Tough Punishment" For Violence Against Women

IRAN -- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks via a video conference with members of the Iranian government, about the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, in the capital Tehran, May 10, 2020

Presumably referring to a recent honor killing, the Twitter account of Iran's Supreme Leader on family and women's issues (Reyhane) on Thursday called for "tough punishments" for those who use violence against women.

The tweet by Reyhane did not directly refer to the honor killing but quoted an old remark by Khamenei: "The society, both from the legal point of view and the ethical perspective, must adopt tough punishments against those who believe they are entitled to violate women's rights".

Khamenei made the remarks in a speech on October 22, 1997 to women at Tehran's Azadi Stadium where 100,000 were brought together to listen to the Supreme Leader's views on family and women. In his speech Khamenei criticized the "moral depravity" of the West but said women's rights, within the confines of the sharia, should be respected.

Reyhane also tweeted another quote from Khamenei on the same day on "Western views on women, human rights, freedom and democracy" and not giving in to such demands which are in contradiction to Islam.

Iranian media have interpreted the tweet as a response to the killing of Romina Ashrafi, a fourteen-year-old girl who was beheaded by her father in an act of “honor killing” a few days earlier.

Hamshahri Online quoted the tweet by @khameeneireyhane in a report and titled it "Reaction of Supreme Leader's Office To Bitter Story of Romina".

Police on May 26 arrested the young girl's father after widespread reaction to the tragedy across the country and on social media.

On May 26 President Hassan Rouhani issued an order to speed up the review of a bill titled "Protection, Dignity and Ensuring Security for Women Against Violence".

Masoumeh Ebtekar, President Rouhani's Family and Women's Affairs Deputy, has said that the killing was raised at a cabinet meeting. The bill on the punishment of violence against women would be placed on the agenda of the Parliament out of turn, she said.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.