Mona Heydari, a 17-year-old girl, has been allegedly beheaded by her husband in Iran’s Khuzestan province for “dishonoring” her family.
Heydari was reportedly 12 years old when she was married off to her cousin and shared a three-year-old son with her husband.
Although the legal age for marriage in Iran is 13 for girls, her father had obtained a legal certificate that allowed his daughter to get married.
Heydari had fled to Turkey four months earlier to escape domestic violence but was brought back home by her father, local media reported. She was killed on Saturday Feb. 5 soon after her return.
A video published online showed her husband, Sajjad Heydari, smiling and parading the streets of Ahvaz with a knife in one hand and his wife’s severed head in the other.
Local authorities have confirmed photos circulating online that appear to be Heydari came from the same incident.
Authorities have arrested Sajjad Heydari, along with his brother, who was allegedly involved in her murder.
“The accused will definitely be dealt with severely,” the prosecutor told Fars, adding that those who shared the video may also be arrested, CNN reported.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) called the teen’s murder an “honor killing.”
Heydari’s murder has reignited concerns over Iran’s laws around child marriage and domestic violence.
IRNA reported that the vice president for Iran’s Women’s and Family Affairs minister tweeted that in response to the incident, the government has pushed forward a review of a draft law to protect women against violence.
While Iranian women’s rights activists have been drafting a law to prevent violence against women and prosecute their abusers, Human Rights Watch said the law still falls short of international standards, as it “does not criminalize some forms of gender-based violence, such as marital rape and child marriage.”