Rania Alyed was born in Palestine but fled to Syria as a refugee. At the age of 16 she married Ahmed Al-Khatib. In 2005 the pair travelled to the UK for a better life, where they settled in Manchester. Though the marriage was fine at first, it increasingly became abusive. Ahmed would beat her, raped her, and sometimes tried to throttle her, accusing her of cheating on him with every man they encountered. This was exacerbated by Rania attending college to study English, talking to male and female friends on social media and wearing makeup: creating for herself a life apart from his and integrating with the community.
Eventually in 2013 after being raped yet again by Ahmed, Rania left the family home with their three children, fleeing to a homeless refuge for sanctuary. She proceeded to live with her children in their own flat, and sought court orders barring him from seeing the children, aged nine, seven and two.
Five months later Ahmed murdered her. After luring her to his brother’s house in Salford it is thought that he smothered her, and went to great lengths to make it seem that she was still alive, posting on her behalf on social media sites and leaving the murder scene dressed in his wife’s clothes. With the help of his two brothers he then took the body and buried it in a copse near a lay by on the A19 in North Yorkshire.
As defence for his actions Ahmed Al-Khatib pleaded madness, that his wife had come to him as a Jinn (evil spirit) and he had pushed her away in self defence. The judge however took this as an offence to the memory of Rania, who had suffered years of domestic abuse and convicted him of ‘pre planned honour killing’, sentencing him to 20 years in prison.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Reade, of Greater Manchester Police noted, ‘’Al-Khatib’s murderous actions were motivated by his outrage and jealousy that Rania would attempt to take control of her own life and live a more westernised life, after suffering years of abuse at his hands.’’
“His male ‘pride’ clearly couldn’t take a strong woman trying to determine her own fate, so he carried out one final act that would ensure she could never defy him again. The irony is that this horrific act of self-pity has brought nothing but shame on him and his family,” he said.