LONDON: An Iranian man killed his daughter in a suspected honor killing before claiming it was a tragic accident, in an incident a relative claims is being hushed up by the regime in Tehran.
Mohammad Kazem Lashkari, 43, reportedly killed his teenage daughter Ariana, 15, with a shotgun after seeing her in a park with an unknown man.
He was arrested by police in the Iranian city of Nurabad on June 27, telling them: “After an argument, Ariana went to my mother’s house and I could not control my anger.
“I went there with my shotgun to scare her. I really did not mean to kill my daughter. I fired involuntarily.”
However, Lashkari’s story has been called into question, with one relative telling human rights activist Masih Alinejad: “Ariana was a girl who didn’t enjoy being oppressed by her father.”
The relative added: “She wanted to choose her own lifestyle and have a free mind. Accepting her views was hard for her father.
“Ariana was a quiet girl who went to school every day full of hopes. This girl was very kind and caring. All of her friends and classmates adored her. I’m still in shock. It’s unbelievable that Ariana is gone.”
A neighbor suggested that Lashkari had been addicted to drugs, and had previously threatened Ariana, as well as his other daughter.
The unnamed relative also suggested that the Iranian government was pushing for details of the story to be suppressed.
“The regime is trying hard for this tragedy not to get published in the media,” he said.
“I hope this innocent girl’s blood is not going to be trampled on like many other girls who have been murdered in this way.”
In Iran the murder of a child or grandchild by a father or paternal grandfather carries a maximum sentence of just 10 years, and is considered different to other murders, for which the penalty is usually death.
Up to 62 percent of all women murdered in Iran are killed by relatives, and between 15-18 percent of murders in the country are considered honor killings.
The investigation into Ariana’s death continues.