Posts Tagged ‘honor related violence’

Maya Khan

Maya Khan, 16, India.

Her biggest fault was that she fell in love with a boy her parents didn’t approve of. As a result, 16-year-old Maya Khan’s throat was slit by her own cousin and her body flung away. On Saturday, police arrested her parents and the cousin for the murder.

The case of honour killing was reported from Talgram village in Murshidabad’s Kandi block. Officers from Bharatpur police station had retrieved Maya’s body on July 3 from the Maurakshi char. She was the daughter of Tajem Khan and Hanifa Bibi.

Investigations revealed that Tajem and Hanifa were trying to get their daughter married off to a groom of their choice. But Maya was having an affair with another local youth and despite repeated warnings she refused to break off the relationship. Her parents asked her cousin Mantu Sheikh to threaten her as well but she refused to pay heed.

It was then that the family decided that to protect their honour’, the girl would have to be killed. On July 2, Mantu called Maya away from her home and took her to an abandoned house. There he slit her throat. At night, the body was dumped on the char. Police retrieved it the next day after some fishermen raised an alarm.

After hearing some eyewitness accounts, police first arrested Mantu on Friday evening. Interrogating him, police found that Mantu had murdered the girl at the behest of Maya’s parents. He spilled the beans on them, saying that they could not tolerate her having an affair. Mantu also confessed to having killed his own sister after she had had an affair.

Police records showed that Mantu had been arrested in that case as well but was granted bail for lack of evidence.





Maya khan, age – 16 years


The accused                      : her parents – Tajem and hannefa and her cousin – Mantu sheikh.


Place of Murder                : Village – Talgram, District – Murshidabad’s kandi block

Date of Murder                 : 3 July 2011


Assasination                      : Investigations revealed that Tajem and Hanifa were trying to get their daughter married off to a groom of their choice. But Maya was having an affair with another local youth and despite repeated warnings she refused to break off the relationship. Her parents asked her cousin Mantu Sheikh to threaten her as well but she refused to pay heed.

It was then that the family decided that to protect their honour’, the girl would have to be killed. On July 2, Mantu called Maya away from her home and took her to an abandoned house. There he slit her throat. At night, the body was dumped on the char. Police retrieved it the next day after some fishermen raised an alarm.


Fathia el Q.

Fathia el Q. Germany 42

Fathia was murdered in Febuary 2011 in Germany, after having fled an abusive relationship in Spain with her partner M. Hassan. Originally from Morrocco, Fathia had been married once before, and had a son and a daughter by her first husband. However when widowed, she struck up a new relationship with Hassan. This liaison quickly became abusive: her daughter reported beatings and threats taking place and in 2009 after a 6-year relationship Fathia and Hassan separated. In October 2010 she decided to travel to Dusseldorf in Germany where her mother and sisters lived. Having only lived there a short while, Fathia spoke little German and was attending a German language and integration course.

It was on her way to one of these classes one evening that she was murdered by Hassan. Hassan was already known to the authorities before his arrest. Shortly after the murder had taken place he was supposed to be starting a three year prison sentence for drug offences and had previously been called in to the police for possession of illegal weapons and over his violence towards Fathia during their relationship in Spain.

Witnesses recalled that after Fathia left Spain, Hassan was intent on finding her. That February evening, while walking along a public street in Dusseldorf, he finally tracked her down. After a short conversation she started screaming for help. She was then stabbed with a kitchen knife. Hassan fled and was chased by witnesses but they could not keep up. He was eventually tracked down in Spain and held accountable for the murder.




Rehana Parveen

Name of the Couple    : Rehana Parveen & Bhoora Prajapati.

Profile of the victim         : Rehana 19, was the daughter of Mushtakeem, a resident of Mawaithakuran village in Moradabad UP, she belonged to a muslim community while her boyfriend Bhoora Prajapati belonged from a muslim community.

Murdered person              : Rehana Parveen

The accused                       : her father Mushtakeem
Place of Murder               : Mawaithakuran village in Moradabad UP,

Date of Murder                 : 25th Nov 2010.

Assassination : According to police, Prajapati and Parveen used to meet regularly in the fields on the outskirts of the village. But as Parveen had not been coming for the last few days, Prajapati approached police suspecting the girl could be in trouble.

Police raided Mushtakeem’s house and recovered his daughter’s body from a locked room.

The father told that he committed the crime as he thought his daughter’s marriage with the youth of a different community would bring a bad name to the family,


Malti Kashyap

Malti Kashyap

Profile of the victim         : Malti’s father, Awadesh, works at a factory in Ludhiana, Punjab. Her mother died 15 years ago. As a result, Malti stayed at her grandfather’s place at Sarojni Naidu Nagar under Bilhaur police station. She  was planning to elope with a neighbour belonging to another caste.

Murdered person              : Malti Kashyap

The accused                       : her grandfather Babulal Kashyap 65.

Place of Murder               : Sarojni Naidu Nagar under Bilhaur police station in UP.

Date of Murder                 : 15th Feb 2011

Assassination : Finding out that his granddaughter, Malti (19), a resident of Sarojni Naidu Nagar under Bilhaur police station, was planning to elope with a neighbour belonging to another caste, 65-year-old Babulal Kashyap killed her with an axe on Tuesday and kept her body inside the house. Neighbours, who heard Malti’s cries for mercy, informed the police, who recovered the body and arrested Kashyap. An unrepentant Kashyap told media persons: “Nothing is bigger than family honour, therefore I murdered my granddaughter.”


Asmaa Mahmoud

Asmaa Mahmoud


Asmaa Mahmoud, beaten to death, 2009.

Khaled Mahmoud, 21, admits beating his sister to death last year in the West Bank. “She has made very wrong decisions,” he said.

“I started drinking then I got crazy. When I saw her I beat her. I smashed her head to the wall.”

His sister Asmaa – not her real name – was 23, a university student, and engaged to be married to another Muslim.  As brother and sister they were close, yet Mahmoud says she made the unforgivable mistake of sleeping with another man, a Christian, and brought enormous shame on the family.  “I was telling her that she should stay away from him and she shouldn’t talk to him because he was playing,” Mahmoud said.

“He wasn’t serious with her and he is bragging about what he was doing. I was so ashamed with my sister.”

Mahmoud says it is hard to describe how he felt after killing his sister.  “I don’t say that I wish I hadn’t killed her, but I say I wish she hadn’t done that,” he said.  “I am really sorry for what happened, but I think even if I’m in the same situation now after this experience and she does the same thing, I would kill her again.”  Mahmoud says he found a note belonging to his sister with several phone numbers and rang one to find it was a clinic that restores a woman’s virginity through surgery.  He says that was the final straw.  “She was violating rules of the society. Why has she done that?

“She didn’t have the right to do that. She shamed our family.”

Balkar Singh & Ravindar Pal Kaur

Balkar Singh and Ravindar Pal Kaur

Profile of the victim          : Balkar singh 30 and Ravindra Pal Kaur  were the resident of  Gurdwara Bir Baba Budha Sahib in Thatha village falling under Tarn Taran police district. They got married on 1st Jan 2009.

Murdered person              : Balkar Singh and Ravindar Pal Kaur

The accused                       : Her father Kabal Singh, reportedly a government officer, along with wife Rajinder Kaur, Rajbir Singh (brother of the girl), Jatinder Singh and Sarmail Singh, both cousins, and uncle Manjinder singh
Place of Murder               : Gurdwara Bir Baba Budha Sahib in Thatha village falling under Tarn Taran police district

Date of Murder                 : 25th Jan 2009

Assassination : Balkar Singh (30) and Ravinder Pal Kaur had recently got married in a court on January 1. The boy, along with her bride, had come to his house for the first time after marriage.

Balkar had gone to buy eatables in the nearby market for his relatives who were coming from England. A group of armed persons alighted from three cars and chased him. They opened fire at him, killing him on the spot.

Jaimal Singh, a brother of Balkar, said the armed members of the family then reached their house. They parked their vehicles a few metres away from the house. On spotting Ravinder, who was sitting on the terrace at that time, they fired at her. When she tried to escape by jumping from the terrace, they caught hold of her and shot her into the head.


Prabhjot Kaur & Pradeep Singh

Name of the Couple   : Prabhjot Kaur and Pradeep Singh


Profile of the victim          : Prabhjot Kaur and Pradeep Singh, both were of Class 12 students, and hailed from Ferozepur district. Pradeep singh had left his first wife and also has a child. He married his wife’s niece Prabhjot Kaur.


Murdered person              : Prabhjot Kaur and Pradeep Singh


The accused                       : Five Unidentified persons.
Place of Murder               : Patti village, 65 km from Amritsar


Date of Murder                 : 31st March 2010


Assassination : It has been reported that the victims Prabhjot Kaur and Pradeep Singh from Ferozepur, both students of Class 12 were shot dead by five unidentified gunmen, when they arrived at a local school in Amritsar for their board examinations.

The killers fled the spot after the murder and snatched the carbine of a security guard accompanying the couple. The victims were provided police protection on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after their marriage.


Tanzeela Riaz

Tanzeela Riaz and Babar Ali, throats slit, December 29, 2009

A general store owner along with his son slaughtered his teenage daughter and her paramour for honour in Kahna police jurisdiction on Tuesday.

According to police investigators Tanzeela Riaz had an affair with Babar Ali, resident of her locality since long and reportedly Tanzeela was warned numerous times by her family against these relations. However she did not care and kept on meeting Babar.
On the day of incident, Riaz and his son Fiaz caught both victims in an objectionable condition at their residence in Sowa-e-Asil.
The police said first the accused thrashed Tanzeela and Babar and then slit their throats with a knife. However Riaz escaped from the scene while his son Fiaz surrendered to the police and confessed his guilt.

A murder case has been registered on the statement of Haji Mehmood Ahmed, father of Babar Ali. The police, later shifted the bodies to the morgue for autopsy.

Sarabjit Singh & Amarjit Kaur

Name of the Couple   : Sarabjit Singh and Amarjit Kaur


Profile of the victim          : Sarabjit Singh (23) and Amarjit Kaur (21)  were from the same caste, were going around with each other for the last few months.


Murdered person              : Sarabjit Singh and Amarjit Kaur


The accused                       : Amarjit’s father Kulwinder Singh and her brothers Gurpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh,
Place of Murder               : Bhullar village in Ajnala tehsil in Amritsar


Date of Murder                 : 20th May 2011


Assassination : “Sarabjit and Amarjit, who were from the same caste, were going around with each other for the last few months. Amarjit’s family members were against their relationship.


They killed the two by using sharp-edged weapons and threw the bodies at an isolated place near their house.


Huri Özçelik

Huri Özçelik, 28, Turkey.

A Turkish father Dumlu Ozcelik received lifetime imprisonment for killing his daughter, in a trial of ‘honor killing’ in the northwestern Turkish city of Bursa.

Huri had left her husband and came to her father’s home bringing along her two children.

When Dumlu found out his daughter eloped with another man to Ankara, he took the 28-year-old daughter back home in Bursa and shot her six times in front of her children.

The court first granted the public prosecutor’s demand for an aggravated life sentence on charges of murder on the prompting of tradition, also known as an honor killing. The court jury, however, mitigated the punishment considering the good conduct of the accused during the trial, and sentenced Ozcelik, father of two, to a lifetime sentence only.

Jihan Sideeq

Jihan Sideeq, shot 20 times, June 16, 2010

Jihan married her husband three years ago to the harsh disapproval of her family. Already a mother and pregnant with their second child, Jihan and her husband believed the dispute between their families was over. On June 16, the pregnant Jihan was shot dead in her home by her own relatives in what police say was an honor killing.
“We had settled the dispute between both of the families. I don’t know why her family killed her,” her husband, Jaleel Mustafa, 38, told Rudaw this week.
Jihan Sideeq, 28, was cleaning in the family home in Suayfa village, Gwer district, when four of her relatives entered the house and shot her 20 times.
. . .
Jaleel said he had asked for Jihan’s hand three times and had sent many people to her family to ask for the marriage to be approved, but still her family would not allow Jihan to marry Jaleel. They married without family consent and Jihan didn’t see her parents again but had been in contact via telephone, according to Jaleel.
After some time, both families reconciled when Jaleel paid $5,000 to Jihan’s family. It was also agreed that Jihan’s brother would marry Jaleel’s sister.
“We were planning to arrange my sister’s marriage with Jihan’s brother in September. Jihan’s family agreed to the money but did not take it. They were saying let the money to stay with you. We will take it when we arrange the marriage between your sister and our son. My sister was also agreeing to the marriage,” said Jaleel.
Jaleel’s family live in Khebat district, 36 km west of Erbil, but do their farming in Gwer located 20 Km away from Khebat. On the day Jihan was killed, Jaleel was not home. He had gone to get his Peshmarga salary.
Wayda, Jaleel’s first wife, said, “We were just coming back from our farms. I was busy with the kids. Jihan was preoccupied with preparing lunch.”

All of a sudden Wayda heard a series of gun shots. She ran outside and saw Jihan laying on the floor. “I saw four men running; one of them was Jihan’s paternal uncle and two more were his sons. I also saw, Akram,www.ekurd.netanother cousin of Jihan. When I got to Jihan, she was not dead yet. I asked her who did this to you? She said something but I did not understand what she was saying”.




Jihan sideeq her spous name – Jaleel

Murdered person            : Jihan sideeq


The accused                      : Jihan’s paternal uncle and her relatives.


Place of Murder                : Village – Suayfa, district – Gwer

Date of Murder                 : 16 june 2010.


Assasination                      : Jihan was in love with Jaleel. Jaleel had asked Jihan’s family for their consent to solemnize the marriage but her family did not agree so they decided to runaway from their home and did the court marriage. But when they both thought that the dispute between their family is over that time her paternal uncle came with her relatives and shot 20 rounds on jihan and killed her.


Rajesh Kumar & Monika Rani

Name of the Couple   : Rajesh Kumar and Monika Rani.


Profile of the victim          : Rajesh and Monika 22, were the residents of Chicago. Rajesh belonged to a lower caste family while Monika belonged to an upper caste family. They both had married without their family consent.

Murdered person              : Rajesh Kumar and Monika Rani and their three years old son Vansh Kumar.


The accused                       : Her father Subhash Chandra 57.
Place of Murder               : Apartment 209, south Suburb Chicago.


Date of Murder                 : 3rd Jan 2010.


Assassination : Mr. Chander said that the couple had married without his consent and that Mr. Kumar was from a lower caste in India than Ms. Rani’s family and Mr Chandra was not happy for that so he set fire on the apartment killing her daughter Monika, his daughter in-law Rajesh and his grandson Vansh. At that time Monika was pregnant of five months.


Leila Hossein

Leila Hossein

Leila Hossein, who was shot down in Iraq for opposing the ‘honour’ killing of her daughter

Leila Hussein told The Observer the chilling story of how her husband had killed their 17-year-old daughter over her friendship with a British soldier in Basra. Now Leila, who had been in hiding, has been murdered – gunned down in cold blood. Afif Sarhan in Basra and Caroline Davies report on the final act of a brutal tragedy

Leila Hussein lived her last few weeks in terror. Moving constantly from safe house to safe house, she dared to stay no longer than four days at each. It was the price she was forced to pay after denouncing and divorcing her husband – the man she witnessed suffocate, stamp on, then stab their young daughter Rand in a brutal ‘honour’ killing for which he has shown no remorse.Though she feared reprisals for speaking out, she really believed that she would soon be safe. Arrangements were well under way to smuggle her to the Jordanian capital, Amman. In fact, she was on her way to meet the person who would help her escape when a car drew up alongside her and two other women who were walking her to a taxi. Five bullets were fired: three of them hit Leila, 41. She died in hospital after futile attempts to save her.

Her death, on 17 May, is the shocking denouement to a tragedy which had its origins in an innocent friendship between her student daughter, Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, and a blond, 22-year-old British soldier known only as Paul.

The two had met while Rand, an English student at Basra University, was working as a volunteer helping displaced families and he was distributing water. Although their friendship appears to have involved just brief, snatched conversations over four months, Rand had confided her romantic feelings for Paul to her best friend, Zeinab, 19.

She died, still a virgin, four months after she had last seen him when her father, Abdel-Qader Ali, 46, discovered that she had been seen talking ‘to the enemy’ in public. She had brought shame on his honour, was his defence, and he had to cleanse his family name. Despite openly admitting the murder, he has received no punishment.

It was two weeks after Rand”s death on 16 March that a grief-stricken Leila, unable to bear living under the same roof as her husband, found the strength to leave him. She had been beaten and had had her arm broken. It was a courageous move. Few women in Iraq would contemplate such a step. Leila told The Observer in April: ‘No man can accept being left by a woman in Iraq. But I would prefer to be killed than sleep in the same bed as a man who was able to do what he did to his own daughter.’

Her words were to prove prescient. Leila turned to the only place she could, a small organisation in Basra campaigning for the rights of women and against ‘honour’ killings. Almost immediately she began receiving threats – notes calling her a ‘prostitute’ and saying she deserved to die like her daughter.

Even her sons Hassan, 23, and Haydar, 21, whom she claimed aided their father in their sister”s killing, disowned her. Meanwhile, her husband, a former government employee, escaped any charges, and even told The Observer that police had congratulated him on what he had done.

It is not known who killed Leila. All that is known is that she was staying at the house of ‘Mariam’, one of the women’s rights campaigners, whose identity The Observer has agreed not to reveal. On the morning of 17 May, they were joined by another volunteer worker and set off to meet ‘a contact’ who was to help Leila travel to Amman, where she would be taken in by an Iraqi family.

‘Leila was anxious, but she was also happy at having the chance to leave Iraq,’ said Mariam. ‘Since the death of her daughter, her own life was at serious risk. And this was a great opportunity for her to leave the country and to fight for Iraqi women’s rights.

‘She had not been able to sleep the night before. I stayed up talking to her about her plans after she arrived in Amman. I gave her some clothes to take with her and she was packing the only bag she had. She was too excited to sleep.’

Mariam said that when she awoke Leila had already prepared breakfast, cleaned her house and even baked a date cake as a thank-you for the help she had been given. After the arrival of ‘Faisal’, the volunteer (whose identity is also being protected), the three left the house at 10.30am and started walking to the end of the street to get a taxi. They had walked less than 50 metres when they heard a car drive up fast and then gunshots rang out. The attack, said by witnesses to have been carried out by three men, was over in minutes. Leila was hit by three bullets. Mariam was hit in her left arm and Faisal in her left leg. ‘I didn”t realise I had been shot for a few seconds, because as I heard the gunfire I saw Leila falling to the ground and saw blood pouring from her head,’ said Mariam. ‘I was so shocked, I didn’t immediately feel the pain.’

Two men ran from their homes to help. They rushed Leila to hospital and a passing taxi took the other two. But Leila died at 3.20pm, despite several operations to save her. As she lay in her own hospital bed receiving treatment, Mariam said that she heard someone saying that Leila had been shot in the head. But there were other mutterings that were clearly audible. ‘I could hear people talking on the corridors and the only thing that they had to say was that Leila was wrong for defending her daughter’s mistakes and that her death was God’s punishment.

‘In that minute I just had complete hatred in my heart for those who had killed her.’

Police said the incident was a sectarian attack and that there was nothing to link Leila’s death to her family. ‘Her ex-husband was not in Basra when it happened. We found out he was visiting relatives in Nassiriya with his two sons,’ said Hassan Alaa, a senior officer at the local police station in Basra. ‘We believe the target was the women activists, rather than Mrs Hussein, and that she was unlucky to be in that place at that time.’

It is plausible. Campaigners for women’s’ rights are not acceptable to many sections of Iraqi society, especially in Basra where militias have partial control in some districts and impose strict laws on locals, including what clothing they should wear and what religious practice they should follow.

Since February 2006, two other activists from the same women”s organisation have been killed in the city. One of them was reportedly raped before being shot. The other, the only man working for the non-governmental organisation (NGO), and a father of five who was responsible for the organisation”s finances, was shot five months ago.

There could be many with a grudge against such organisations. However, Mariam believes Leila was targeted, pointing out she had been hit by three bullets. ‘When we were shot, they focused on Leila, not us,’ she said.

Since the attack the NGO has stopped its work in Basra. ‘We daren’t answer the phones because we have received so many threats since we gave our support to Leila’s case,’ said Mariam. ‘Most of our members are preparing to leave the city and even Iraq if they can raise the money.’

A single mother since her husband was killed for refusing to join a militia, she too intends to move when she can. Faisal, who also survived her injuries, is still suffering post-surgical infection. She preferred not to speak, but her mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘My daughter is very shocked at what happened, and my two grandsons can’t stop crying since they saw her in hospital.’

Leila”s burial was arranged within hours of her death by the husband of one of her cousins and Mariam’s father.

The Observer visited Rand’s father and two brothers at their Basra home, but they refused to talk beyond Hassan proclaiming his father’s innocence. When asked if he would be visiting his mother’s grave, he shrugged: ‘Maybe in the future.’

Leila was an orphan, raised by an uncle who died in the Shia uprising against Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s. Hamida Alaa, 68, a friend of the uncle, said: ‘The poor woman was killed and now her name and history is buried with her. No one wants to speak about it. She is just one more woman killed in our country who has already been forgotten by the local society.’

In the last days of her life, Leila was suffering from the pressure of having gone against her husband. ‘She was sleeping with the help of sedatives,’ said Mariam. ‘She would wake up at night with terrible nightmares, even dreaming of being suffocated as her daughter was. She had been threatened so many times and that’s why she was so scared. Her indignation over Rand”s death is what led her to her own coffin. Their history ends here. But Leila was a hero. A woman who was strong enough to say no to Iraqi men’s bad attitudes. Sadly most Iraqi women do not have the same strength and they will stay in their homes.’

Mariam has moved out of her home. But within hours of speaking to The Observer a close friend went to her new address to deliver a message that had been left for her at her front door. It read: ‘Death to betrayers of Islam who don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. Speaking less you will live more.’ She believes it was sent by Leila’s killers.

‘They want this story to be buried with Leila,’ she said. ‘But I cannot close my eyes to all this.’


Bhuri, 15, India

On 6 March 2011 police in India arrested two cousins of the teenage Noida girl, who was strangulated to death allegedly by her father for eloping, on charges of destroying evidence and helping the killer to dispose of her body.

Narinder and Dalu, both in the early 20s, were arrested from Modi Nagar road, police said, adding they were on the run since the honour killing case came to light.

Police had on March 13 arrested Karamvir Singh, father of 15-year-old Bhuri, who had confessed to killing her as she had eloped with a married man in their neighbourhood last month.

Singh had told the police that his two nephews had helped him in disposing of the body.

They had initially buried the body but later cremated it and the ashes were thrown in the river.

The two have been charged under Section 201 of IPC for destroying evidence.





Bhuri age – 15 years


The accused                       : Her father – Karamveer singh and his nephew – Narinder & Dalu.


Place                                   : Noida (U.P)

Date of Murder                  : 6 March 2011.

Assasination                       : Bhuri, a minor girl, was in love with a married man and one day she eloped with him when her father came to know about it he caught her and strangulated her to death and later he disposed her body with the help of his nephew Narinder and Dalu.


KR Deepika

KR Deepika, India

The police nabbed two prime accused in February suspected honour killing of KR Deepika at Thamasandra village in Kanakapura in India.

The arrested are Gowramma and Mooge Gowda, mother and grandfather of KR Deepika.

The 20-year-old was murdered along with her four-month-old son, allegedly by her family, for marrying her neighbour Venkatesh, who belongs to another caste.

Four other accused, including Deepika’s father Ramakrishnaiah, uncle KV Venkatesh, aunt Padma, and another uncle Channabeere Gowda, are still absconding.

The accused, after the cremating the bodies, fled the village.

The police, who were tipped off that Gowramma and Gowda had sneaked back to the city by bus on Thursday night, arrested them.

Deepika was invited home on February 26, at midnight the mother and daughter had a row, which ended in Gowramma assaulting Deepika.



Venkatesh & KR Deepika both comes from different castes.


Murdered person           : KR Deepika – 20 years

The accused                   : The accused are from the girls family her parents Ramakrishnaiah &Gowramma, her grandfather – Gowda, relatives – KV Venkatesh & Padma, and Channabeera Gowda.


Place                               : Thamasandra in Kanakapura


Date of Murder             : 26th feb

Assasination                   : KR Deepika eloped with Venkatesh, her lover and married with him after a period of time she became a mother and was living a happy life but then her family came to know about her and they invited her at her maternal house there her family member killed her with her son in the name of saving the honour of their family and clan.




Adeeba, strangled to death, June 2009

A man from Sabzazar has been arrested for allegedly killing his sister in yet another honour killing case on Thursday.

According to police, Iqbal strangled his 22-year-old sister Adeeba – in the presence of family members – for having illicit relations with a boy from their neighbourhood. The alleged murderer later asked his family members not to disclose the incident. The victim’s family planned to bury her in their native city of Khoshab, but locals informed the police and Iqbal was arrested. Police have recovered the body and shifted it to the city morgue for autopsy. Police said the girl was strangled to death with a piece of cloth, which had also been confiscated as evidence. A first information report (FIR) has been registered against Iqbal and investigations are underway.

Banaz Mahmod

Banaz Mahmod, 20, UK.

Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha’s family immigrated to Britain from Kurdish Iraq in 1998.  In line with tribal customs of the strictly-traditional family, Banaz was given in arranged marriage to a member of her own tribe at age 17. Few years later, after her marriage broke down due to violence and rape, Banaz returned back to her family home and while seeking divorce fell in love with Rahmat Sulemani, an Iranian Kurdish man of a different tribe.

Her actions became known throughout the tight-knit Kurdish community in South West London and she faced multiple threats from family and community members. In December of 2005, Banaz was taken to hospital after what she recorded as her father’s attempt to kill her. Little action was taken by police despite her reporting the incident.

In January 2006, then 20 year old Banaz was raped and strangled to death with a shoelace in her family home by a gang of cousins and relatives on the order of her father and uncle. Banaz’s body was stuffed into a suitcase and buried in a garden of an abandoned house in Handsworth, Birmingham. Her body was found in April 2006, three months after she disappeared, reported missing only by her boyfriend.

It was later discovered that her father, uncle and other members of their clan had plotted and planned to murder Banaz on grounds that she had brought “dishonor” and “shame” to them.

In October 2010, Mohamad Hama of West Norwood was convicted of the murder of Banaz and given life sentence. Banaz’s cousins Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain, both 28, received minimum jail terms of 22 and 21 years respectively. Banaz’s father Mahmod Mahmod and her uncle Ari Mahmod were subsequently jailed for life, with minimum terms of 23 and 20 years respectively, for arranging the killing.

Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, told them: “This was a barbaric and callous crime. To restore the so-called family honour, it was decided by her (Banaz’s) father and uncle that she should die and her memory be erased.”

He told Ali and Hussain: “You are hard and callous men who were quite prepared to assist others in killing in the so-called name of honour and who placed respect from the community above life, tolerance and understanding.”

Women’s and other organizations internationally lobbied the governments in both the UK and Iraqi Kurdistan to extradite the two remaining suspects in the murder following the guilty verdicts in June 2007. The extradition was finally ordered by the Iraqi authorities in spring 2010.

Banaz was a lively and beautiful young woman who saw a world beyond unjust rules, abuse, violence and oppression. In the midst of all her turmoil she also found love and kindness, but this was brutally taken away from the very people she called family.

May Banaz rest in peace…and may she have found that world of love and kindness that she sought and so rightly deserves…


Night frost on the window sill,

Reflects her story within it.

They thought the frost would melt

Come blistering rays of sun,

And the morning would forget

That she had lived.

But the frost turned to air,

Air to wind,

Wind to song,

Sung to the world

That she had lived.

Her nights of battle

And her days of war,

Soldiering alone

In the battlegrounds

That is the life of a woman.

In her is the life of every woman.

To forget her story is to forgot ours,

To honour her life,

Is to ensure that we too live a life of honour.

And love as beings capable of love.

For those who believe in love but who hath love snatched away,

Do still believe.

Love is that brighter day that seem so far away,

Yet is on its way…. it’s on its way.



Aqsa Parvez


Aqsa Parvez, 16, Canada.

16 year old Aqsa Parvez, youngest of eight siblings, lived in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada with her family of Pakistani origin. Aqsa was 11, when her family migrated to Canada. As a typical teenager she wanted to dress based on her choice, listen to music, get a part-time job and be as other girls at school and neighborhood. However, this did not sit well with her father and siblings and there were constant conflicts regarding her attire and choices.

Her family wanted Aqsa to dress modestly, wear the hijab, imposing restrictions on her movements and social interactions including after school and weekend activities. Aqsa told a counselor at Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga in September of 2007 “that she was afraid her father wanted to kill her …” the school subsequently made arrangements for Aqsa to stay at a shelter, but she only stayed there for three days. Following her return home, her family then permitted her to wear non-traditional clothes to school but the conflicts progressed and got worse. For the second time, Aqsa chose to live at a friend’s place, with constant requests from her family to return home.

On the morning of December 10th 2007, when Aqsa was standing at a bus stop with her friend on her way to school, her brother, 26 year old Muhammad Parvez, a tow truck driver, pulled up and asked Aqsa to come home with him and get more clothes if she was going to live away from home. Half an hour later, Aqsa’s father Waqas Parvez, called 911, telling the police he had “killed his daughter”. When police arrived, Aqsa was immediately taken to hospital in critical condition where she later died. It was revealed that she had been strangled.

Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faced automatic life sentences. Initially it was believed by police that Muhammad Parvez killed his daughter, but in court it was determined that the brother had strangled Aqsa, it was a premeditated crime. In an interview with police, Aqsa’s mother said her husband told her he killed his youngest child because “my community will say, you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked.”

Aqsa was known among friends and teachers as a bright spark of a child, friendly, caring and loving despite her many challenges. She was progressing in school and friends say all she wanted to do was “to be normal”.
‘At 8, I dream of wild flowers
At 12, of sunsets
At 16, of freedom to see both these bloom and rise
With my own eyes.’
On Earth, as in Heaven,
The wildflowers rise to their creation
Brilliant in color.
The sun glorious in its existence,
Sustaining life.
Undefeated in its purpose to live.
In the will through which it was born.
You remind us of the wildflower,
You are the sun.
Your life shines through
In your decision to live
as you intended.
Free-willed, determined, glorious.
It is for your light,
That you will be remembered.





Tulay Goren

Tulay Goren, 15, UK.

15-year-old Kurdish girl Tulay Goren was killed in North London by her father because the family objected to her choice of husband

Mehmet Goren, the father of 15-year-old schoolgirl Tulay Goren, has been convicted of her murder and sentenced to serve a minimum of 22 years for the family “honour killing” in London.

Tulay, who had come to Britain from the Kurdish region of Turkey, was drugged, tortured and then killed by her father Mehmet Goren, over her relationship with an older man of whom Mehment Goren and his relations did not approve.  Although Tulay’s body has never been found, her father Mehmet Goren, 49, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey after a 10-week trial.

The trial heard how Tulay, who came to Britain at the age of 12, was assaulted by her father, a Shia Muslim, who was angered by her relationship with Mr Unal, who was twice her age and a Sunni Muslim.  In the weeks before her disappearance, Tulay ran away from home twice and personally reported two attacks on her by her father. Her boyfriend also reported an assault.  However, despite Tulay’s refusal to go home, she was lured back three weeks later, in January 1999, and disappeared the next day.

Mehment had been arrested when Tulay vanished on January 7 1999 but lied his way out of trouble and forced his family to do the same.  He was only brought to justice by the damning testimony of the mother and sister Tulay left behind.

Ten years after she vanished, her mother Hanim agreed to tell the court the truth about her violent husband Mehmet.  In emotional scenes in court a sobbing Mrs Goren said: ‘In the children’s bedroom I saw Tulay lying on the floor face down. “Her hands and her feet were tied. Her hands and her feet were all a purple black colour.  “Hatice cried and screamed and jumped on her and the two of us tried to untie her, and Tulay said: ‘Mum don’t untie me, I want to die’. In the meantime Mehmet had come from downstairs and said don’t untie, don’t touch he said.”

Mrs Goren continued: “After that Mehmet said: ‘So that she doesn’t run away again I have tied her up’.”

She also gave key evidence about the aftermath of the murder, in which she found knives missing from the kitchen, bin bags used up and the back garden of her home in Glastonbury Avenue, Woodford Green, dug over.


Rim Abu Ghanem

Rim Abu Ghanem, 19, Israel.

Rim Abu Ghanem was a 19 year old girl from the Abu Ghanem clan of Juarish, in Ramla a city of 64,000 near Tel-Aviv’s airport in Israel. The clan of around 2000 members is close-knit, very conservative and traditionalist, with a high rate of violence towards its women members.

In 2006, Rim Abu Ghanem was the seventh Abu Ghanem woman to be murdered. Her only crime, in the eyes of her family was refusing to marry a man to whom she had been promised to. In the days preceding the murder, she had run away only to be found by police, who returned Rim to her family on condition that her three brothers signed an agreement that she would not be harmed.

Rim’s murder was premeditated and planned by her very own brothers. Her elder brother, Suleiman Abu Ghanem, a pediatrician at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, gave his brothers Ahmed and Salameh sleeping tablets and instructed them on how to sedate their sister. When Rim fell asleep, her brothers packed her into a truck and drove her to a field. When Rim briefly woke up, she had attempted to plea for her life, while her brothers had tried to make her admit she had “disgraced the family’s honor”. Her brothers Salameh and Muhammed then suffocated her and wrapped her body and threw it down a nearby well.

Subsequently three of Rim’s brothers confessed to and were convicted of killing her and are serving a 20-year jail sentence. The fourth brother, who did not take an active part in the act of murder, will serve a 12-year sentence. These sentences were unfortunately reduced from murder to manslaughters due to a police error in handling the informants of the case.


The other Abu Ghanem women:

Dahlia, Na’ifa and Shirihan Abu Ghanem

Dahlia Abu Ghanem, a 16 year old girl believed to be the ninth woman in the Abu-Ghanem family to fall victim to “honor killings” was allegedly murdered by her brother Mahmoud Abu-Ghanem. Mahmoud was arrested after his sister Dalia had been missing for more than two weeks.

Dahlia was no stranger to violence and loss of the women in her family. Her mother Na’ifa was murdered in 2000 in Juarish and her sister Shirihan was murdered in 2006 near her Rahat home, making them the seventh and eighth Abu-Ghanem women to be killed. 30-year-old Na’ifa Abu-Ghanem, had been shot to death. Relatives told police that Na’ifa had previously filed a police complaint against her husband and police suspected an “honor killing”. Her sister Shirihan was said to have bled to death after her throat was slit. Walid Abu-Ghanem, one of the girls’ brother murdered his then 15-year-old sister shortly after she was engaged to be married. Relatives attempted to hide evidence of the killing and first claimed Shirihan died after slipping in the shower, then said she had committed suicide.

Shortly after her sister’s murder, Dahlia was forced by her father to marry a man she barely knew, she subsequently gave birth to a daughter while her husband was in jail.  Dalia had sought refuge in women’s shelters, after enduring beatings and murder threats. But as do many community women chose to go back to her family home, where she went missing shortly after an argument with her family.

A woman familiar with the earlier cases said, “One day she disappeared. Some think she was murdered, others say she ran away, no one knows what happened to her … there is a lot of fear here in the neighborhood. Women here are frightened, always asking who’s next to go, who’s left?”

Three Abu-Ghanem brothers have been tried and convicted for murdering two of their sisters. The other murderers are still at large.

Omar al-Omar, a senior organiser at the Juarish Community Centre who knew Dahlia and taught her gymnastics and folk dancing remembers her as “A quiet girl, who rarely spoke”. Perhaps when Dahlia was folk dancing was when she was most free…


Hamda, Sara, Sabrin Abu Ghanem

In 2006, another young woman Hamda Abu Ghanem, 18, was shot nine times while she lay in her bed after Hamda had refused to marry a man she had been betrothed to. Instead of maintaining their silence, the Abu Ghanem women told police all they knew.  The trial of Kamal-Rashad Abu Ghanem for the murder of his sister, Hamda, revealed a reign of terror enforced by some of their men folk under the guise of preserving “family honour.”

In March 2008, 40-year-old Sara Abu Ghanem sustained injuries to her head and neck when several unidentified men shot at her on her way to work. Sara had divorced her Arab husband and wished to make official her relationship with a local Jewish man, outraging her family.

Another young girl, Sabrin rests under a bare concrete slab with her name roughly scratched on by hand. She is said to have been killed by a cousin whom she refused to marry. Others lie in crudely marked graves, covered with plain marble or a mound of earth marked with an oval of stones and just a few minutes’ drive from Israel’s lustrous international airport.

Until Rim’s murder, police have not been able to make progress in their investigations because of lack of cooperation. In Hamda’s case, her sisters are in hiding, the main witness of her murder has gone missing and Arab women in the central Israeli town live in fear because of little help from the police and government.

Police say they are largely powerless to prevent “honor killings” due to the lack of cooperation from victims’ families and other witnesses. Despite there being government support centers for women and other protection services women do choose to return back to families. A decision that in many instances have cost them their lives…


In these young women, ages 15, 16, 18, 19 ..once rested the future…in them the hopes and dreams and aspirations that every girl will have. What must it have been like for their young lives to be sought in so much fear, not knowing if the very family that is meant to protect them will one day perpetuate their own deaths.

We only hope their daughters and the women they left behind will live a life without this fear, injustice and violence….and we hope they will finally find the silence of peace and the sanctity of justice…

“One woman’s act of courage is for all the women who came before her and for all who will follow”



Ghazala Khan

Ghazala Khan, 19, Denmark.

In 2006, Ghazala’s brother and father were given life sentences and an aunt, three uncles and a family friend were also found guilty for being part of her murder.

The family had tracked down Ghazala after she eloped with long-term boyfriend Emal Khan, and they invited her to a ‘reconciliation meeting’ at Slagelse railway station, to kill her. Her husband was shot twice in the stomach, but survived. Mobile phone records demonstrated that all the family members were present in the area where the murder was carried out, and they were all in constant contact with each other.

The jury in the case suffered threats and vandalism while hearing the case..

Ghazala’s murder had been ordered by her father to save the family honour.

She had run away in September because telling her family about her marriage desires had lead to her being beaten and a prisoner in her room. She escaped to live with her boyfriend and they moved around to live with friends and repeatedly contacted the police for protection, but were denied help.











The train on the tracks,


With the ebbs and flows

Launching forward, backward,

Forward again.


The air is still.

Betraying a secret,

A sacred bond between parent and child,

To be broken.


By blood.

Her blood.

In its purest form.


She loved,

It was denied.

She tried,

It was trampled,

She hoped,

It was delayed.

She finally trusted,

It was broken.


How can you who gave her life

think you have the right to take it away?

You, mortal, the most broken of all,

Think, she is anyone’s but Gods?


She is Gods!

He  put soul into her being,

And love into her heart

And faith as your daughter.


It is You, who have transgressed!

God is on her side,

As she is on His.


She is free as she was born,


It is You, who are now on eternal trial.




Hina Saleem

Hina Saleem, 21, Italy.

In August 2006, in the North Italian city of Brescia, Pakistani immigrant Mohammed Saleem killed his 20 year old daughter, Hina Saleem. It was one of the first  publicised cases of “honour killing” in modern Italy.

Hina was living with her Italian boyfriend at the time. She had refused to come home and change her ways and had reportedly refused to marry a man chosen by her family to be her husband. Her father Mohammed then called a meeting with the men in the family to discuss how to handle Hina. He ended her life, by slitting her throat 28 times and was helped in burying her in their family home back garden in the town of Sarezzo.

In November 2007 he and two brothers-in-law were convicted of murdering Hina. The court in the northern city of Brescia sentenced each of the three to 30 years in prison for the slaying. In addition, the girl’s uncle was convicted of helping hide her body. He was sentenced to two years and eight months.

In February 2011, the BBC were granted an interview with Mohammed Saleem from his prison cell, to find out why he killed Hina.

In the BBC interview Mohammed Saleem says:

‘I didn’t want to kill her. I wanted her to come back home.”

“I’m a good father, my daughter was a very good daughter before. Then all of a sudden, she changed.”

“I didn’t want my daughter to be too free, having drugs on the streets.”



‘I will choose’, said her eyes

Alight with a glow,

Of courage

Streaming through her veins.


Alight her eyes were,

No human could dim them,

Not even those with brutal means

And evil intentions,

Of dimming the flame


‘I will love’ said her being

Herself most of all.


‘I will decide’ said her life

In the way she chose to live it.


You will choose.

For where you are there is choice,

Of running free,

Of reaching far,

Of beauty in truth,

Of love.


And that light in your eyes,

Is enough to light up a dark night,

Wherein another lost one wonders.


For your life will be a lamp

On this dark road to where justice lives.


Your eyes, the very source of light.






Amandeep Atwal

Amandeep Atwal, 17, Canada.

Amandeep Atwal was a 17-year old Canadian girl known for her infectious laugh, positive presence and belief in love.

On July 30, 2003, Amandeep’s own father murdered her. He stabbed her repeatedly. After he killed her, he mutilated her face. He then drove her body some two hours to a hospital, where he claimed she had committed suicide.

Amandeep’s father, Rajinder Singh Atwal, was known in the community as a “mild-mannered” and “moderate” Sikh man. However, Atwal was driven into a murderous rage when he discovered that Amandeep had fallen in love with a non-Sikh boy, Todd McIsaac.

Amandeep and Todd had dated for three years, and intended to marry. Knowing that her family would disapprove, Amandeep kept their relationship private. She and Todd would meet secretly, and if he visited her home while her parents were away, he’d keep his running shoes by the back door just in case he needed to make a quick escape.

In June of 2003, Amandeep and Todd got into a terrible car accident, at which point her parents learned of their relationship. The revelation led to strife in Amandeep’s family, and rumours that her father became abusive toward her. Within just a few weeks, Amandeep had packed her things and left home to live with Todd, leaving only a note behind. Her mother discovered her note and managed to find her before she had left town. As a condition of letting her leave, Amandeep’s father managed to convince her to take one last vacation with the family, after which he vowed to drive her back to her new home with Todd. It seemed like an act of reconciliation – or even a blessing. She was told that she would see extended family and tell them of her decision to share her life with Todd.

She would never return. Some reports say that Amandeep was stabbed almost twenty times while still wearing her seatbelt. Her father played the part of a grieving parent after bringing her mutilated body to the hospital, but showed next to no emotion afterward – at least not until he was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Rajinder Singh Atwal remained composed during his trial, and his lawyer called no one to the stand as part of his defense. Amandeep’s brother said he felt conflicted about his sister’s death – on the one hand, he said – there was his sister; but on the other, his father.

Amandeep’s fiancé, Todd, remembers her as a brilliant, beautiful woman whose presence still guides him.

That day held a promise so ripe,

In raw expectation.

That day held forgiveness,

Like water in the hand of a desert wanderer.

That day held words,

Like the first breaths of freedom of an innocent prisoner.


She had love held captive,

In the unwalled spaces of her expansive heart.

That day she set them free.

She had beauty flowing unbounded from her being,

Only to be deflected by Intolerance.

That day beauty was set free.


No hurt, or blood can taint the purity of a heart in love.

No betrayal can deny existence of that beauty.

That day she set them free.

May she from whom this love and beauty flows,

Be to whom this love and beauty is bestowed.


Another light guiding honour,

On its path to freedom.






Sonay Mohammad

Sonay Mohamad, 14, Denmark.

One a February morning in 2002 a fisherman discovered the body of 14 year old Danish Kurdish girl Sonay Mohammad in the Præstø Harbour in Denmark. According to her autopsy, Sonay had been beaten unconscious with a club or a baseball bat and was still alive when she was then dumped in the harbor to die.

Sonay was murdered by her father, Ashraf Mohammad because she had a boyfriend. Ashraf had previously already served six months in prison for aggravated assault against Sonay.  In 2001 Mr Mohammed tightened a power cord around Sonay’s neck when he found a photo of a boy in her schoolbag. Although Sonay was placed in a foster home, a few months later the Social Appeals Board decided that her parents had the right to their relationship with her. Her caseworkers appealed the decision, but in vain. So when Sonay was found dead, the Board was directly criticized for being partly responsible for the tragedy.

Ashraf Mohammad, a Kurdish Iraqi, was released after having served seven years, of the ‘life’ sentence because a rule of  Danish law says that perpetrators who are immigrants will be deported back immediately from Denmark after having served  half the time of their sentence.

His wife, Sonay’s mother publicly supported his actions. They were sent back to Iraq, and it was reported that social benefits from the Danish state enabled Mrs. Mohammad to buy her and her husband two houses back in Kurdistan.

A former crime reporter, Arne Schmidt Møller discovered a threatening letter written by Sonay’s father to his brother, “I will kill you like I killed the infidel Sonay. She used to make spoilage each day with the infidel pigs. She has made spoilage twice in front of me and I killed her with my own hands.”

The publicity from the tragedy initiated a special unit in the National Police’s Investigative Support (NEC) for designating a resourceful section of employees who could become ‘experts’ in “honour” crime, and begin to form a network with all relevant authorities, organizations, ethnic associations and shelters.

Denmark also became the third country in Europe to participate in banning forced marriages in the countries law.