Iranian man sentenced to eight years in jail for beheading teen wife

Murder caused outpouring of grief and outrage in the country

Mona Heidari was killed in February last year by her husband and brother-in-law. Photo: Iranian News Labour Agency
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An Iranian man has been jailed for more than eight years after he decapitated his wife and displayed her head in public, the judiciary said on Wednesday.

Mona Heidari, 17, was killed in February last year by her husband and brother-in-law in Ahvaz, the capital of Iran's south-western Khuzestan province.

Videos that emerged later of her husband smiling as he paraded her decapitated head in the street caused an outpouring of grief and outrage.

Sajjad Heidarnava was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for murder and eight months for assault, judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi said.

The family of Heidari pardoned the killer rather than demanding qesas ― Iran's law of retribution.

"The accused has no right to protest against the verdict and the decision is final," Mr Setayeshi said.

"The second defendant in the case, Heidar Heidarnava, was sentenced to 45 months in prison for complicity in intentional homicide."

At the time of the murder, media outlets in Iran reported that Ms Heidari was married at the age of 12 and was the mother of a three-year-old son.

Human rights defenders have called for changes to the law to protect women against domestic violence and to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls, currently set at 13.

Iran has been rocked by protests that erupted after the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, after her arrest on charges of breaching the country's dress code for women.

Updated: January 19, 2023, 6:56 AM