Iran’s Ham-Mihn newspaper reported the case of an Ahwazi woman who was buried alive by her father in April. Villagers had accused her of having an extra-marital affair after she divorced her husband, prompting her father to kill her for the sake of family honour. He admitted killing his 22 year old daughter Nejat, but claimed she agreed to be buried alive and even helped to dig her own grave. After Nejat’s mother learnt of the killing, her husband threatened to bury her alive if she reported the murder to the authorities. Nejat’s two year old daughter has since been taken to an orphanage in Ahwaz City, according to the British Ahwazi Friendship Society.This account of the killing has been confirmed by Iranian women’s rights activists.
The following account is translated from Farsi:
Some cry and scream “I want to stay alive,” others shout their innocence, and still others beg for forgiveness, Du’a Khalil Aswad was quivering with pain and we do not know what she said…
But Nejat said nothing. She did not cry. She did not beg. She did not ask for forgiveness. She looked on calmly as her father buried her alive. She entered the grave calmly so that her father could put enough dirt on her that she would no longer breathe, look, feel, think, feel ashamed, or serve as stain of dishonor for her father. She entered the grave calmly so that she could disappear, so that she could be destroyed, so that she would be no more.
Nejat knew that in a society where misogyny is deeply rooted in tradition, where misogyny is promoted by the government, where the police covers the bodies of women to preserve the “honor” of the ruling bodies, she had to search for rescue in nonexistence. Her story is so painful that it can not be written.
So let one of the last images speak for itself:
This man said about the bitter moments that he buried his daughter alive: When I dug the hole, my daughter went towards it without saying a word and laid down in it. I did not feel well, but I thought I was doing the right thing. Initially, I used the shovel to put the dirt on her. She wasn’t saying anything. She just stared at the sky. I threw the dirt on her stomach and chest, but she still did not say anything. She did not ask me not to do that. I looked at her in the last moment, before I covered her face with dirt. She called out to me and said ‘Dad, please take care of my daughter.”
Messages in “Nejat”