Posts Tagged ‘honour based violence’

Nirupama Pathak


Nirupama Pathak, 22, India.

When Nirupama Pathak left this remote mining region for graduate school in New Delhi, she seemed to be leaving the old India for the new. Her parents paid her tuition and did not resist when she wanted to choose her own career. But choosing a husband was another matter.

Her family was Brahmin, the highest Hindu caste, and when Ms. Pathak, 22, announced she was secretly engaged to a young man from a caste lower than hers, her family began pressing her to change her mind. They warned of social ostracism and accused her of defiling their religion.

Days after Ms. Pathak returned home in late April, she was found dead in her bedroom. The police have arrested her mother, Sudha Pathak, on suspicion of murder, while the family contends that the death was a suicide.

The postmortem report revealed another unexpected element to the case: Ms. Pathak was pregnant.

“One thing is absolutely clear,” said Prashant Bhushan, a social activist and lawyer now advising Ms. Pathak’s fiancé. “Her family was trying their level best to prevent her from marrying that boy. The pressure was such that either she was driven to suicide or she was killed.”

In India, where the tension between traditional and modern mores reverberates throughout society, Ms. Pathak’s death comes amid an apparent resurgence of so-called honor killings against couples who breach Hindu marriage traditions.

This week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered a cabinet-level commission to consider tougher penalties in honor killings.

In June, India’s Supreme Court sent notices to seven Indian states, as well as to the national government, seeking responses about what was being done to address the problem.

The phenomenon of honor killings is most prevalent in some northern states, especially Haryana, where village caste councils, or khap panchayats, often operate as an extralegal morals police force, issuing edicts against couples who marry outside their caste or who marry within the same village — considered a religious violation since villages are often regarded as extended families.

Even as the court system has sought to curb these councils, politicians have hesitated, since the councils often control significant vote blocs in local elections.

New cases of killings or harassment appear in the Indian news media almost every week. Last month, the police arrested three men for the honor killings of a couple in New Delhi who had married outside their castes, as well as the murder of a woman who eloped with a man from another caste.

Two of the suspects are accused of murdering their sisters, and an uncle of the slain couple spoke of their murders as justifiable.

“What is wrong in it?” the uncle, Dharmaveer Nagar, told the Indian news media. “Murder is wrong, but this is socially the best thing that has been done.”

Intercaste marriages are protected under Indian law, yet social attitudes remain largely resistant. In a 2006 survey cited in a United Nations report, 76 percent of respondents deemed the practice unacceptable. An overwhelming majority of Hindu couples continue to marry within their castes, and newspapers are filled with marital advertisements in which parents, seeking to arrange a marriage for a son or daughter, specify caste among lists of desired attributes like profession and educational achievement.

“This is part and parcel of our culture, that you marry into your own caste,” said Dharmendra Pathak, the father of Ms. Pathak, during an interview in his home. “Every society has its own culture. Every society has its own traditions.”

Yet Indian society is also rapidly changing, with a new generation more likely to mix with people from different backgrounds as young people commingle on college campuses or in the workplace.

Ms. Pathak had studied journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communications in New Delhi before taking a job at a financial newspaper. At school, she had met Priyabhanshu Ranjan, a top student whose family was from a middle-upper caste, the Kayastha.

“The day I proposed, she said, ‘My family will not accept this. My family is very conservative,’ ” Mr. Ranjan recalled. “I used to try to convince her that once we got married, they would accept it.”

Ms. Pathak deliberated over the proposal for months before accepting in early 2009. Convinced her family would disapprove, she kept her engagement a secret for more than a year, until she learned that her father was interviewing prospective Brahmin grooms in New Delhi to arrange a marriage for her. Her parents were also renovating the family home for a wedding celebration.

Ms. Pathak called her oldest brother, Samarendra, who spent the next week trying to change her mind.

“What I told her was that the decision you have taken — there is nothing wrong with it,” he said. “But the society we live in will not accept it. You can’t transform society in a day. It takes time.”

Officers escorted her mother, Sudha, on the left, inside a local police station. She was arrested on suspicion of murder. The family says that Nirupama Pathak’s death was a suicide.

When her father learned of the engagement, he wrote his daughter a letter and paid a surprise visit to New Delhi.

In the letter, the father acknowledged that such marriages were allowed under India’s Constitution, but argued that the Constitution had existed for only decades while Hindu religious beliefs dated back thousands of years.

At one point, Ms. Pathak’s mother called, crying, asking if they had wronged her in a past life.

The death of Ms. Pathak remains under investigation. Her body was discovered in her upstairs bedroom on the morning of April 29, while her mother was the only person at home. Initially, neighbors and family members said she had died from electrocution, but then later changed their story to say she had hanged herself. The police arrested the mother after the postmortem report concluded that Ms. Pathak had been suffocated.

But Ms. Pathak’s father and her two brothers have argued that the postmortem was flawed and claimed that her death had been a suicide. The family produced a suicide note and persuaded a local magistrate to order an investigation into Mr. Ranjan, the boyfriend — which his supporters have described as politically motivated.

Ms. Pathak’s pregnancy has also complicated the case. Mr. Ranjan said that he had been unaware of her condition, and her family told the police that they, too, had been unaware. But in an interview, the father and brothers changed their story, saying that Ms. Pathak confessed her pregnancy to her mother on the morning of her death.

For now, the case has polarized opinion. In Koderma, supporters of the Pathak family have rallied for the release of the mother from jail. In New Delhi, former classmates of Ms. Pathak and other supporters have held candlelight vigils, calling for the case to be prosecuted as an honor killing.

“This kind of the thing is increasing everywhere,” said Girija Vyas, a member of Parliament and the president of the National Commission of Women. “There should not be these things in the 21st century. These things must be stopped.”






Nirupama  Pathak – 22 years


Profile of the victim          : Nirupama was in love with another journalist based in Delhi. Both of them had studied in Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). While Nirupama was a Brahmin, her boyfriend was a Kayastha from Bihar.

Murdered person              : Nirupama pathak


The accused names           : Sudha Pathak


Name of the place              : Delhi


Date of the Murder           : 29th April 2010


Assasination                      : Nirupama Pathak, 22, a New Delhi–based journalist, was allegedly murdered by her own mother. Her crime? She had wanted to marry a fellow journalist who belongs to a lower caste — and she was pregnant. On a trip home to make a final effort to convince her family, Nirupama texted her boyfriend that she was being held captive, locked up in a bathroom. On 29 April 2010, she was found dead. The family claimed Nirupama had killed herself, and lodged a case against her boyfriend for rape and abetting suicide. But when the postmortem results revealed Nirupama had been asphyxiated, the police arrested her mother, Sudha Pathak.


Rukhsana Naz


Rukhsana Naz, 19, UK.

Rukhsana Naz, of Derbyshire, England, was a bright, educated woman. At age 15, she was married to a man she had only met twice. She hoped to one day marry her childhood sweetheart, Imran, by whom she eventually became pregnant.
In 1998, when Rukhsana was 28 weeks pregnant withImran’s child, her brother and mother made her clean out a trunk  and sign a will. The trunk was to serve as Rukhsana’s coffin, and the will named them the guardians of her children. Then,they invited her to dinner, where her brother, Shazad, strangled her with askipping rope. Rukhsana’s mother held down her legs.
Shakeela and Shazad Naz were found guilty ofRukhsana’s murder and were sentenced to life in prison.


Amina, Zunera, Humaira and Sumera


Amina, Zunera, Humaira and Sumera, drugged and throats slit, August 2010

A man has confessed to slaughtering his three daughters and wife after the latter contracted the marriage of their oldest daughter against his will.

According to the police, Pindi Machiyaan resident Shaukat Ali killed his family in their sleep. Shaukat drugged his family at dinner and when Zunera (5), Humaira (7), Sumera (10) and his wife Amina fell unconcious he took a sharp knife and slit their throats. Shaukat then dragged the bodies into the street and left them outside his house as he composed a note for the police that he left on his house door.
Police officials said that they found a notice on the door that stated “I am ashamed of my wife who was stubborn and arrogant.
My daughters could have turned out like her. I have killed them so that I would not have to suffer the humiliation of their dishonourable actions. I am a man of honour and I will turn myself over to the police for their murder.”
Muridke station house officer (SHO) Nemat Gujjar said that Shaukat had confessed to the crime. “We were called in by locals who said they saw a stream of blood flowing into the road from his house,” he said.

“I saw a stream of blood flowing into the road. When I followed it to the corner of the street, I saw four bodies piled on top of each other,” said Pindi Maachiyaan resident Ataa Khan. “I called the police immediately as other people began to gather around the house and we saw the notice,” he said, adding that Shaukat’s house was empty. “He must have left with his son. His other two sons are older and are no longer living with him. They work at a factory in a neighbouring city ,” a neighbour Sohail said.

Maya & Inderpal

Maya & Inderpal, India.

In what may be yet another suspected case of honour killing, the decomposed bodies of a couple, who eloped recently, have been found in a field in Sirsa, Haryana.

The victims, Inderpal and Maya, had last been seen on September 17, 2010. Both families filed missing complaints. However, the girl’s uncle has now made some shocking allegations. He claimed that Maya was gang-raped by Inderpal along with four other men including the ex-Sarpanch of the village.

The police is now investigating the case. The bodies have been sent for postmortem.



Name of the couple   : Inderpal and Maya


Profile of the victim         : Inderpal 22, was a farmer while Maya was class 11th student and belonged to a well off family. They both were the residents of phulkan in sirsa Haryana.

Date of marriage              : could not solemnizid

Murdered person              : Inderpal and Maya


The accused                       : Maya’s family members.
Place of Murder               : Phulkan sirsa Haryana.


Date of Murder                 : 17th Sep 2010


Assassination : The couple was battered and their bodies thrown away in the cotton field of Sirsa’s Phulkan village early on Friday. A case has been registered against four people including Maya’s family members following a complaint by Inderpal’s uncle Shyam Lal. He alleged that Inderpal was murdered because of his relationship with Maya, who is from an influential family.

Haryana police on Sunday confirmed that deaths of Inderpal (22) and Maya (17) in Sirsa as honour killing.



Medime Memi


Medime Memi, buried alive, December 2009

Medine Memi, 16, was found in the hole in December. Large amounts of soil were in her lungs and stomach, according to a source who has seen the report. Her father and grandfather have been arrested, but not charged.

So-called “honour killings” take place every year in Turkey despite government moves to stamp out the practice.
Two months after police found Medine’s body buried in the garden of her family home, a team of doctors at a university in Malatya has completed the post-mortem examination.
According to a source who has seen their report, there was only minor bruising on her body, and no evidence of her being drugged.
Her hands had been tied behind her back, and they discovered large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach. The autopsy has concluded that she was almost certainly buried alive.
The police went to her home after a neighbour reported that Medine had not been seen for a month. They found her body in a hole, newly covered with concrete, next to the hen-house.
A local organisation that campaigns against honour killings said the victim, one of 10 children, had gone three times to the police to complain that she was being beaten, but she was sent back to her family each time.
. .

The town is known for being very conservative and religious; it is a stronghold of the once powerful Naksibendi Islamic sect, which was banned by modern Turkey’s founding father Ataturk in 1925 but has revived in recent years.

Gonuel Karabey

Gonuel Karabey, 20, Germany

In September 2006, a German court found Ali Karabey, a German citizen of Turkish origin, guilty of shooting his 20-year-old sister, Gonul, to death in the western city of Wiesbaden in June 2005 in order to prevent her from marrying her German boyfriend.

During his trial, it was revealed Karabey tracked down his sister to a garden shed belonging to her boyfriend’s family after she ran away from home.

The court said his sister agreed to meet him after he assured her that he meant her no harm and told her boyfriend that he would help arrange their marriage.

Ali fired at his sister Gonul repeatedly after persuading the boyfriend to leave them alone in the hut.

Yasemine Çetin

Yasemine Çetin, 16, Turkey.

Yasemine was married-off at a young age and was soon given back to her family, only to die at the age of 16.

Not long after Yasemine’s arranged marriage, she was raped by her brother-in-law. Her husband and his family believed this made her impure and shameful. The husband rejected his bride and returned her to her father’s home, knowing she would not be welcome there either because of her dishonour. Days later, Yasemine was shot to death by her own brother.

Her brother-in-law was charged with rape. Yasemine’s father was arrested for provoking the honour killing, but her brother fled and is still at large.  Yasemine Çetin’s funeral was held by a local women’s group in June of 2006. None of her family members attended.


Yasemine, my beloved one,

This heart cannot fully fathom,

What it must have been to just be.

This mind cannot fully comprehend,

Your courage. Your glory.


You smile like there is hope,

Like there is that better day,

Like there is love,

Despite what they put you though.

You glow like there is God,

Like the heart cannot break,

Like there is strength,

Despite pain.

Despite days of rain.

You are in essence,

All of Life my dear.

It is an honor that you walked this Earth,

For when you lived, this Earth was blessed.





Sadia Sheikh

Sadia Sheikh, 20, Belgium

Sadia Sheikh was shot three times by her brother on October 22nd, 2007 and later died in hospital. The 20-year-old was in her final year of law school. Sadia was killed for refusing an arranged marriage.

Sadia moved out of her parents’ house and went to University to further her academic studies while moving in with a Belgian. While studying, she feared for her life and had been in contact with the Centre for the prevention of Conjugal violence. In a statement the centre said, “Our staff supported this young woman who wished to escape a coerced marriage. She wanted to study and live the life of a free and dignified woman”.

Sadia’s father Tariq Mahmood Sheikh, aged 61 was born in Pakistan and had an arranged marriage with Zahida Parveen Sariya, aged 69. They believed their daughter had brought ‘dishonour’ upon the family’s name by refusing to comply with their arranged marriage plans for her.

On the 22nd of October, the family led Sadia to believe they wanted to reconcile with her. When she came back to her parents house, she was confronted by her 27-year-old brother Moussadar who shot Sadia and her 22-year old sister Sariya. Moussadar subsequently confessed to killing Sadia.

In November 2011 the family were put on trial in Brussels in a landmark case. The prosecution became known as Belgium’s first honour-based case trial. When asked about the killing of Sadia, Moussadar remarked, “I didn’t want to take her life, but to make her feel as bad as I felt”. The Belgian court found the parents guilty of orchestrating the killing and of ordering their son to carry out the shooting. The father was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the mother to 20 years in prison, and the brother to 15 years in prison. Sariya, although wounded during the encounter, received 5 years in prison because of her involvement in the premeditated murder of Sadia.


During those dark days, you found a solid strength to hold on to.

During times of lovelessness, you found love within you.

In your eyes there are sparks my dear, the ones that light up fires of change.

In this world that couldn’t save you.

Around you presence we see love my dear, and it will embrace us into believing,

That hope will someday bring change.

The world lost life when it lost you,

But it carries the light that you spread …when you flew.




Sadia Sheikh (1987-2007)



Sahjdar Bibi

Sahjdar Bibi, 21, UK.

In 2008, Sahjdar Bibi was killed by her cousin for refusing to follow the tradition of cousin marriage and choosing her own husband.

According to information from the Star Welfare Organisation in Sargodha, Miss Sajida Bibi, 22 of Sargodha in the Punjab, freely married Mr. Mohammad Arshad, 28 of Shekhupura, on June 13, 2008 in a Shekhupura civil court. The woman’s parents were against the marriage and Sajida Bibi left the house after being seriously threatened by them. She then filed a restraining order against her family in the court of the Shekhupura Sessions

On June 18, two days before the decision of the court, her father, Saad Ullah, her uncle Ahmed Khan and others tried to kidnap her from the court premises, but failed.  The order was granted and they were legally barred from harassing her further. Sajida Bibi’s first cousin an influential army officer, Major Zia Ullah Khan of Rawalpindi Garrison.

Shortly after this case Sargodha police officers started threatening the couple. The bride again filed a case for protection before the Lahore high court on July 27, 2008 and on August 6 the court of Justice Saifur Rehman passed an order restraining Sargodha officers from harassing the pair.

Ahmed Khan, the bride’s uncle, then lodged a First Information Report (FIR: an official document for further legal proceedings) against the groom, the groom’s father Mohammad Aslam and his younger brother on August 13 in Cantt police station, Sargodha, claiming that they kidnapped Sajida Bibi. Khan also claimed that his daughter was already married and that she should therefore be punished under Hudood laws.

Arshad was arrested but his wife recorded a statement in his defence.

On October 23 before Mr. Jamshed Mubarak Bhatti, civil judge of Lahore in a family court, Sajida then filed a case of defamation against her uncle and against a Fateh Khan, a Sub-Inspector who was allegedly claiming to be her husband, and whose brother (Inspector Nasr Ullah of the Lahore police) was also harassing her.

Two days later the father and brother of her husband (Aslam, son of Mohammad Liaquat Ali, and brother, Tahir, 22) were reportedly abducted by Saijida Bibi’s father, uncle, cousin (Major Zia Ullah) and Inspector Nasr Ullah.

According to witnesses they were taken from the Solang Wala Dera bus stop at around 8pm on October 25 in two cars, one of which was black with the registration number MI 1432, from Shekhupura.
Sajida Bibi went into hiding after her husband’s arrest, but on October 27 Sajida Bibi, along with the two badly beaten abducted men, was taken from her place of hiding by her uncle and father and went missing.
On October 28 the groom’s mother, Mrs. Zetoon Bibi lodged FIR 1112/08 for the abduction of her husband, her son and her daughter-in-law in Cantt police Station. Since the kidnappers have powerful connections among the police and military and despite that she has written more than a dozen letters to authorities, she never received a reply and all three were killed.

Methal Dayem

Methal Dayem, 22, USA.

Methal Dayem, of Palestinian origin was shot four times on January 8th 1999.  Methal was 21 years old when she was left to die suffocating on her own blood.

The crime-scene was an isolated, snow-covered area of West 73rd Street in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Four months later, police arrested her cousins Yezen Dayem and Musa Saleh.

By then, investigators believed Methal was a victim of an honour killing, after learning that some in the family were upset with her increasing independence, working and driving, additionally Methal had backed out of an arranged marriage a year before.

Methal’s sister told police that the two cousins had started following Methal to school and to work, sometimes calling in between to check up on what she was doing.

The case went to trial, but prosecutors had no physical evidence linking either to the murder. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Thomas found the prosecution’s evidence placing Yezen Dayem at the murder scene convincing – specifically a security videotape showing his Honda CRV near the murder site that night and records showed Yezen Dayem’s cellular phone  was used to make a call from within 1 1/2 miles of the murder site about the same time. However reasonable doubt was raised by a pair of ski gloves found in Methal’s car DNA tests revealed that the gloves, which were covered with gunshot residue, didn’t match either Yezen Dayem or Musa Saleh.

The case remains unsolved.

Ayah Ibrahim


Ayah Ibrahim Barad’iyya, 20, Palestine

Police identified the remains of a 20-year-old woman found in a well near Hebron on Friday, over a year after her disappearance.

Her uncle and three other relatives were detained and questioned. Police told Ma’an on Sunday that the death was an honor killing, to which her uncle confessed, and revealed the grim details about the woman’s murder.

Local prosecutor Ashraf Mash’al identified the woman as Ayah Ibrahim Barad’iyya from the southern West Bank town of Surif. Her body was found in a deserted well by Israel’s separation wall in fields three kilometers from her home. It took two days to retrieve her remains from the well.

Mash’al said the woman was wearing a necklace inscribed with her name, and that a handbag containing personal documents was also retrieved from the well.

The facts of the case were “shocking,” director of Hebron police Ramadan Awad told Ma’an. “As we interrogated her uncle, the people in the room could hardly hold back tears.”

According to Awad, Ibrahim Baradh’iyya and his wife reported their daughter missing in 2010 saying she had left home on April 20, heading to Hebron University where she was studying, but never returned. They said they feared she had been kidnapped, and wondered if she had run away.

Classmates described the young woman, an English major, as “chaste and noble-minded,” in her second year of university. Investigators found students liked and respected her.

Several witnesses and friends had been summoned during the investigation, Awad said, including one man who had proposed marriage to Ayah and spoken with her family. The young man had been summoned, and was interrogated for 35 days.

According to the man, Ayah had been in love with him, and he with her. He had sent his relatives to visit her parents, trying to win them over in an effort to propose marriage, but the family had refused.

“Police never stopped their investigation” the Awad said, noting that the case ran cold until Friday when police were notified that a body was floating in a well near Surif.

“Police and the prosecutor general, civil defense crews and an ambulance headed out to the area and retrieved the body. It took two days to retrieve all of the parts from the well,” Awad said.

Awad said they found the body in the 30 cubic meters of water at the bottom of the unused well. Police also found a handbag with Ayah’s identity card, clothing and two photos of brothers studying in the Ukraine.

“Once we had identified the remains, we summoned several suspects,” the police director said.

One of the suspects was Ayah’s 37-year-old uncle. He admitted that he murdered Ayah with help of three friends.

A confession

“On Tuesday, 20 April 2010, when Ayah was heading to Hebron University, we took her in the trunk. She was shouting loudly, so one of my friends sprayed her with gas and she fainted. I drove to the Khallat Salman area where we tied a rope around her body and dropped her into the well,” Ayah’s uncle told Awad.

Before she was drowned, the uncle said she had briefly regained consciousness, shouting and pleading with him not to take her life.

The uncle recalled her pleas:

“For God’s sake uncle let me go. Please don’t throw me into the well. What did I do to be killed? Uncle! Please help, help … don’t kill me.”

The would-be fiance, who spoke with Ma’an on condition on anonymity because he had recently married, was devastated by the news.

“This is not an uncle, neither is he a human being even. He is brutal. How did he imagine that bluff about an [improper] relationship between me and her? What baseless imaginations led him to that conclusion? How can a sensitive, mature and educated girl meet such an end? May God take revenge for her!” he said.

The would-be fiance told of the efforts he had made to win over Ayah’s family. He sent friends and relatives to the parents and to siblings and uncles, finally winning the approval of the young woman’s father. “But the next day an uncle opposed the agreement,” he recalled, saying that despite his best efforts the uncle would not give his consent.



Hala, shot six times in the chest, head and stomach, 2007

A Jordanian was sentenced on Sunday to 10 years in prison for killing his daughter in 2007 over a love affair with a man she later married, a court official told AFP. An initial sentence of 15 years passed on the 60-year-old father, who was not identified, was immediately cut by a third after the court found “mitigating circumstances,” the official said.

The 25-year-old daughter, named by the official only as Hala and identified as a factory worker in Amman, was pregnant when her boyfriend asked her father for her hand in marriage, he said. ”The father agreed after the man gave him a cheque for $28,000. Following the marriage, the father kept pushing his daughter to abort the foetus, but she and her husband refused,” the official said.
The father “became enraged, especially after her husband said he wanted to hold a wedding party,” he added. “He went to their home when she was alone and shot her six times in the chest, head and stomach.” Murder is punishable by death in Jordan but in so-called “honour killings” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim’s family or relatives ask for leniency.
Between 15 and 20 women are murdered in honour killings each year in the kingdom, despite government efforts to curb such crimes. Also on Sunday, a 20-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in jail for stabbing to death his divorced 22-year-old sister because “she frequently left her family’s house without permission,” the same official said.

And a 75-year-old man was sentenced to seven and a half years for shooting dead his married sister in 2009 “over an argument after he told her not to leave the house.”

Shehla Bibi

Shehla Bibi, 60, Pakistan

A man surrendered himself after killing his elderly sister on the pretext of honour killing.

Elahi Bux, 45, surrendered himself after axing to death his 60-year-old sister, Shehla Bibi, at his house located in Sector 15, Mehran Town, within the jurisdiction of Korangi Industrial Area Police Station.

Confessing to the crime, the accused alleged that his sister had illicit relations with a landlord of Larkana. According to SHO Ismail Lashari, Bux only dealt one swift blow to the victim’s head and when her screams attracted the neighbours, rather than fleeing, Bux waited for the police to arrive. The police have registered a case on behalf of the victim’s son.

Caneze Riaz

Caneze Riaz 39, Sayrah 16, Sophia 13, and Alisha 10, UK.

On Halloween 2006, Caneze Riaz, a mother and her daughters Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 15, Alicia, 10, and three-year-old Hannah were found dead in their beds by fire-fighters.

Caneze’s husband, Mohammed Riaz, was rescued from the home in Accrington, Lancashire with 50 % burns but died two days later. He was responsible for the blaze.

During an inquest into the incident it was revealed the father  was depressed – his 17 year old son was in hospital battling leaukaemia, he also suspected his wife was having an affair and he could not bear his family adopting a westernised lifestyle. He had been upset that his eldest daughter wanted to be a fashion designer.

Relatives broke the news of his family’s deaths to the couple’s son, Adam, 17, as he lay terminally ill with cancer at the Christies Hospital in Manchester. He died six weeks later.

Güldünya Tören

Güldünya Tören, 24, Turkey.

In February 2004, Güldünya Tören, a 22 year old Turkish woman was being treated in intensive care in an Istanbul hospital after being shot, when a relative told staff he wanted to visit her and then he shot her dead.

Police launched a search for her two brothers and an investigation as to why she was not given protection after the first attempt on her life.

Ms Toren came from a small village in the conservative south-east of the country.  She was raped by her aunt’s son-in-law and got pregnant, and was killed by her brothers to ‘clean the honour of the family.’

In 2007  Güldünya’s two brothers İrfan and Ferit Tören were sentenced to life.  Güldünya Tören has since become an icon in Turkey for the fight against honor killings.

United Nations special rapporteur on violence against women Yakın Örtürk submitted a report in a 2004 to the UN which gave detailed information about Güldünya’s killing. The report said that Güldünya had “refused” to live with her relative, who had raped her, as his second wife. Güldünya ran off to Istanbul to take refuge with the police, who returned her to her uncle despite the risk. Ertürk’s report also says officials at the Bakırköy State Hospital where Güldünya was shot shared responsibility for her death.

Güldünya Tören had given her baby, whom she named “Umut,” which means hope in Turkish, up for adoption to a couple. The baby was later taken from the couple by an order of State Minister Güldal Akşit after the slaying of Güldünya and placed in a childcare facility of the Social Services Directorate.

Many women from eastern Turkey are isolated as they continue to face honor killings, rape, family and social pressures. The Güldünya Bitlis Women Association (GBKD) was established by 11 female volunteers in the eastern Anatolian province of Bitlis to educate women about their rights and help those who are exposed to domestic violence.

Güldünya Bitlis Women Association, aims to bring hope to women in Bitlis.


Update:  Güldünya’s boyfriend has since also been shot dead, allegedly by her father:



Shawbo Ali Rauf

Shawbo Ali Rauf, 19, Kurdistan.

19 year old Shawbo Ali Rauf was taken from her home in Birmingham and murdered in Kurdistan by her husband and his family. Her nine-month-old baby has also disappeared and 0.75 Kg of her personal gold was stolen too.

It is understood the crime was motivated by the discovery of an unknown number in the memory of Shawbo’s mobile phone.

According to Kurdistannet website, Shawbo was tortured by 6 of her husband family members and then shot dead with seven bullets.

Shakeela Begum Khan

Shakeela Begum Khan

In 1976 Shakeela Begum Khan was murdered, allegedly by her estranged husband.

She had married Rasib in 1965, a Pakistani émigré who had become wealthy after working for years in London factories and eventually moving on to buy and develop properties. Together they settled down, Shakeela looking after Rasib’s son Khalid from a previous affair and their daughter Yasmin. Problems started after a family trip to Pakistan. Whilst there, without permission from her husband, Shakeela decided to give away her jewellery to a poorer relative. Rasib, furious at Shakeela’s independent actions reacted: while Shakeela sheltered from him with her family, Rasib quickly married another woman from a nearby village and using Shakeela’s passport returned to the UK with his new wife and Yasmin. Shakeela, having A-levels and some English managed to return to London to reunite with her daughter but the couple remained separated. After a court hearing Shakeela gained custody of her daughter on weekdays, while Rasib was to look after her at weekends. This act of defiance, in challenging his custody of the children was unusual in the Pakistani community in the 1970s. Shakeela worked hard to keep her small family, living in a bedsit and working long hours in a fish and chip shop. However tension arose when Yasmin started to protest at having to leave her mother at the weekends. In 1976 this tension broke. Somebody bust into Shakeela’s house while Yasmin was at school, set up the room to look like Shakeela was a prostitute (shaming her even further) and murdered her. Rasib was initially arrested for her murder, but he denied responsibility and was acquitted for her murder on lack of evidence.

Writing about her mother, her daughter described Shakeela as a ‘beautiful, sassy, educated young Muslim woman’ who was deeply missed. After her murder the young Yasmin went to live wither her father and stepmother, precipitating a period of abuse and fear which ended when she managed to have herself taken in by social services.





Name of the Victim    : Mahender


Profile of the victim          : Mahendra singh 23, was a resident of Shanti nagar New delhi. He was in an illicit relationship with Azad daughter.

Murdered person              : Mahender


The accused                       : His girlfriend father and brother Azad, 40 and Monu, 19.
Place of Murder               : Shanti nagar New delhi. He


Date of Murder                 : 14th Sep 2010


Assassination : During investigation at Shanti Nagar where Mahender lived, police received information that the murder might have happened due to Mahender’s relationship with Azad’s daughter, which Azad and his son considered against their “honour”.
The two accused broke down during interrogation and accepted killing Mahender because they had found him one night in Azad’s daughter’s bedroom. They disclosed that they had beat Mahender up severely and finally hit him with a hammer, at which Mahender fell down unconscious, To make sure he was dead, they strangulated him, loaded his body on a bicycle and dumped him in the canal, the police official added.



Name of the victim         : Shobha – 22 years.

Murdered person            : Shobha

The accused names       : her brother Mandeep and cousin Ankit.

Name of the place          : Ashok vihar Delhi

Date of the Murder         : 20th June 2010

Assassination : Shobha was just one of the victims in a mass honour killing in Wazirpur in Northern Delhi on 20 June 2010. She was murdered along with her sister Monica and Monica’s boyfriend Kuldeep who Monica had married four years before the attack took place. Shobha is said to have been independent by nature. Instead of conforming to the restrictive limitations placed on her, she liked to push the boundaries a little, taking the bus to MacDonalds or to a nearby mall in the upmarket area near where she lived. Indeed several years before her murder she had disappeared with a man, but had returned home without him. Her friend Deepak, 18, remembered her as “pretty, fun, outgoing”. Monica was more serious, but despite this had eloped to marry Kuldeep (the first from Wazirpur to do so), regardless of his being from a higher caste than hers and despite her parents’ disapproval. Needless to say she was happy with her life, they lived in a rented flat and Kuldeep worked in a call centre.

What made this case different was that older family members were not involved in their murder. They did however contribute to a culture in which murdering a woman who is seen to have tarnished a family’s ‘honour’ goes unquestioned. Shobha and Monica’s brothers, together with a mutual friend planned and committed the murder. It is reported that they were taunted in the street as a result of the perceived ‘dishonour’ of their sisters which goaded them into their barbaric actions.

The spark was when Shobha’s little sister ran away with a man, reportedly aided by Shobha. Together the brothers decided to punish the women in their family, even though Shobha’s elopement had happened years before and Monica and Kudeep were happily married. They firstly went to Monica’s house and shot her and her husband, and then went on to Shobha’s and murdered her as well.

After the killings the three murderers fled, throwing the pistol they used into the Ganges. The murder weapon was later recovered and all three were later arrested.




Name of the Victim     : Anup, age – 17

Profile of the victim    : Anup, 10+2 student was the son of Pawan kumar in Haluwas village, district – Bhiwani

The accused                      : The suspects are the family members of the girl with whom Anup was in love.

Place of Murder                : Village – Jui, District – Bhiwani, Haryana.

Date of Murder                 : 26 Jan 2011.

Assasination                      : Anup a resident of haluwas village was in love with a girl of the same village and of the same caste. According to information, Anup, had gone missing from his house on January 9. His family suspected that he was abducted by some youths of the girl’s family.The police have registered a case under section 365 (kidnapping) of the IPC against unknown persons in the case and started investigation. When the police retrieved the call details of his mobile phone, it was revealed that he had got a call from a family member of the girl on the day he disappeared from his house.Anup’s body was found in the fields of Jui village, about 20 km from Haluvas village. Bhiwani SSP Ashvin Sainvi said it seemed to be a case of murder as severe injuries were found on the body.


Mujahedeh, Afghanistan
Mujahedeh ran away from her home in 2006, to escape daily beating for not agreeing to undergo a marriage to a man, old enough to be her grandfather. She took shelter in the facility provided by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Few days later, as she returned to her home after being comforted by relatives, her father murdered her.


Name of the couple     : Shayam & Kusoom alias Munni

Murdered person              : Shayam

The accused names           : Munni’s brothers – Suresh Chawda, Ramesh Chawda, Ramesh Waghela and Santosh Chawda.

Name of the place              : Bhuj in Gujrat.

Date of the Murder           : 16th June kidnapping and murder.

Assasination                      : On June 16, the couple landed in the city at Shyam’s residence. Somehow Munni’s family came to know about it, following which they reached Shyam’s residence and kidnapped the couple from there.

According to police investigation, Shyam was then killed and his body thrown in a lake in Sanand. The body was identified as Shyam’s and the police then registered a murder case against Munni’s family.


Name of the couple   : Megala & Sivakumar.

Profile of the victims        : Megala -20, and Shivkumar – 24, both belonged to same gotra of Thevar community and were the residents of Manamadurai in Tamilnadu.

Murdered person              : Sivakumar

The accused                       : her father and brother.

Place of Murder                : Manimadurai in Tamilnadu.

Date of Murder                 : 7th July 2010

Assassination                     : Megala eloped with her boyfriend after she was married off to a man 15 years older to her, paid a heavy price for it. She lost her lover and was brutally attacked and ostracized by her family and community. Megala, 20, and Sivakumar, 24, were told they couldn’t marry as they were related. Her family married her off in June. Ten days after the wedding, she ran away with Sivakumar. Her family tracked the couple down and attacked Sivakumar with ‘aruvaals’. Sivakumar died on the spot.

Megala, now in hospital, says that everyone in her village, including her mother, feels that the punishment is justified as she brought shame to her village and the Thevar community to which she belongs.

Sandeep Kaur

Sandeep Kaur, 23, India.

23-year-old Sandeep was strangled with a piece of cloth by her father and paternal uncle in Jandawala village in the district in September 2010. It is allegedly a case of honour killing, police said.  As per information, deceased Sandeep Kaur of Khemuana village had an affair with a boy, who was her distant cousin in paternal relations. Intolerance of their relationship led her father to take the extreme step.

Sandeep was a student of BA-I studying at Dashmesh Girls’ College, Badal, which was far away from her native village. To make her comfortable in studies, her father Kala Singh, who runs a small provision store in the village, sent her to some close relatives in Channu village, about a year ago.

Sandeep gradually developed relations with the son of the relatives with whom she was staying. The boy in question was her distant cousin and both were in the same age group.

After getting information about their relationship, Kala Singh warned both to mend their ways and shifted his daughter to some other cousin’s house in the village.

Despite the warning, they kept meeting each other. Finally Kala, along with his cousin Jagdev, went to Channu village and asked his daughter to accompany them to leave for Khemuana village.

Taking her on a motorcycle, Kala and Jagdev left for the village in the evening.
However, on reaching near Jandawala village, they stopped the motorcycle and allegedly strangled the girl with a piece of cloth. They then threw her in mud lying on the roadside. After confirming her death, they took her to the Civil Hospital, Goniana.

They then concocted a story that they were riding on a motorcycle that skidded and the girl sustained serious injuries and fell unconscious. Suspecting foul play, doctors referred the case to the Civil Hospital, Bathinda, where they declared her brought dead.

However, the Nehianawala police this morning received information that it was not an accidental death but the girl was allegedly killed for honour by her father and paternal uncle.

After preliminary investigations, the police booked Kala and Jagdev for murder and tampering with evidence.

The investigating officer, Gurpreet Singh, SHO, Nehianwala police station, claimed the accused were absconding. However, sources at the police station said both accused were nabbed from the hospital.




Name of the Victim  : Sandeep Kaur


Profile of the victim         : Sandeep kaur 23, was a student of BA-1 year of Dasmesh girls college, Badal. She was a resident of Khemuana village in Bhatinda Punjab.

Murdered person              : Sandeep Kaur


The accused                       : Her father Kala singh and his brother Jagdev singh.
Place of Murder               : Jandawala village Bhatinda, Punjab


Date of Murder                 : 25th Sep 2010


Assassination : Sandeep was a student of BA-I studying at Dashmesh Girls’ College, Badal, which was far away from her native village. To make her comfortable in studies, her father Kala Singh, who runs a small provision store in the village, sent her to some close relatives in Channu village, about a year ago.

Sandeep gradually developed relations with the son of the relatives with whom she was staying. The boy in question was her distant cousin and both were in the same age group.

After getting information about their relationship, Kala Singh warned both to mend their ways and shifted his daughter to some other cousin’s house in the village.

Despite the warning, they kept meeting each other. Finally Kala, along with his cousin Jagdev, went to Channu village and asked his daughter to accompany them to leave for Khemuana village.

Taking her on a motorcycle, Kala and Jagdev left for the village in the evening.
However, on reaching near Jandawala village, they stopped the motorcycle and allegedly strangled the girl with a piece of cloth. They then threw her in mud lying on the roadside.








Name of the Victim  : Sandeep Kaur


Profile of the victim         : Sandeep kaur 23, was a student of BA-1 year of Dasmesh girls college, Badal. She was a resident of Khemuana village in Bhatinda Punjab.

Murdered person              : Sandeep Kaur


The accused                       : Her father Kala singh and his brother Jagdev singh.
Place of Murder               : Jandawala village Bhatinda, Punjab


Date of Murder                 : 25th Sep 2010


Assassination : Sandeep was a student of BA-I studying at Dashmesh Girls’ College, Badal, which was far away from her native village. To make her comfortable in studies, her father Kala Singh, who runs a small provision store in the village, sent her to some close relatives in Channu village, about a year ago.

Sandeep gradually developed relations with the son of the relatives with whom she was staying. The boy in question was her distant cousin and both were in the same age group.

After getting information about their relationship, Kala Singh warned both to mend their ways and shifted his daughter to some other cousin’s house in the village.

Despite the warning, they kept meeting each other. Finally Kala, along with his cousin Jagdev, went to Channu village and asked his daughter to accompany them to leave for Khemuana village.

Taking her on a motorcycle, Kala and Jagdev left for the village in the evening.
However, on reaching near Jandawala village, they stopped the motorcycle and allegedly strangled the girl with a piece of cloth. They then threw her in mud lying on the roadside.