After 11 years of stalling, Iran passed a law on Sunday making it a crime to emotionally or physically abuse or abandon a child, the nation’s first legal protection for children and juveniles.
The new law materialized largely in response to nationwide outrage over the killing of a teenage girl last month. Romina Ashrafi, 14, was beheaded by her father with a farming sickle because she had run off with a boyfriend.
Some Iranian media, including the official news agency IRNA, referred to the new legislation as “Romina’s law” and said if it had passed a few weeks earlier, she might still be alive.
“Romina died, but thousands of children are at the brink of life and death every day. This case clearly revealed the lack of laws protecting children,” said Reza Shafahkhah, a lawyer and children’s rights activist, who spoke to the Iranian media on Monday.
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