A six-year-old Afghan girl was stabbed to death, doused into acid after being raped by an Iranian man. According to sources, Iranian mainstream media has since been trying to cover up the incident – a move that displays the nation’s discrimination against refugees.
There is a high possibility that the case will just be shoved off the table, according to The Voice of Refugees. The human rights watch dog said that Iran has a record of various human rights violations against Afghan refugees.
Six-year-old Setayesh Quraishi went missing on April 10, 2016. It was later found out that she was kidnapped by 17-year-old Iranian boy. It was also discovered that the girl was sexually abused, stabbed and was dipped into acid in an aim to hide the monstrous act.
The culprit then asked a friend for help to hide the body. Thankfully, this friend was stricken with guilt and told his father about the sordid act. Police were called and the culprit was arrested immediately.
The girl’s father, Sher Agha Qoreishi, is one of them. He works as a laborer since they moved to Iran 16 years ago.
What makes the tragedy all the more heart wrenching is that he knew his daughter’s rapist and murderer. He told Iran Wire that the boy and his family were their neighbors. “His mother and his sisters used to exchange greetings with Setayesh’s mother. Even when they learned that Setayesh had gone missing they came to our home to comfort us,” he said.
Qoreishi laments that the Iranian mainstream media seemed to be deliberately turning their attentions away from the tragedy. “If the victim had been an Iranian and the murderer had been an Afghan would the media have remained indifferent to it?” he asked.
If there is one thing beautiful that has come out of Setayesh’s death, it united both the Iranian and Afghanistan community. Together, they held protest outside the Afghan Embassy in Tehran.
Iranians had also been bombarding international media with messages and appeals for them to bring Setayesh’s case to the attention of the international community.
Iranians have also been posting pictures of Setayesh across social media with hashtag “#I am Setayesh” to protest media’s snub of the case. In the photo being shared, the girl is seen with wide open charming eyes, a smile that shows her tooth gaps and arms open wide for an embrace.
Her father is appealing for death penalty against her murderer and rapist.
According to Tehran Times, Colonel Abdolreza Nazeri said everyone is equal before Iranian laws. Deputy Secretary of High Council for Human Rights also condemned the horrific act.
In a Facebook post, first reported by the Radio Free Europe, Vice President Shahindokht Mowlaverdi described the murder as despicable. The vice president promised there would be a “punishment appropriate to the magnitude of the horrific crime.”