"We are not in Iraq here," prosecutor says in German courtroom

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Hezha
Born: 2006
Trial: January 2023
Residence: Augsburg
Origin: Yazidi / Iraq
Children: none
Perpetrators: her father Feras B. (44 years old at the time of the crime) and her brother Shamil (23 years old)
No, this is not an honor killing. But the story illustrates well the issues of honor killings and parallel society and is worth telling.

A 16-year-old Yazidi girl has fallen in love with a Turkish Muslim. Her family decides to kill her. The father is 44, the son 23; they want to make it look like a suicide. The daughter is forced to write a farewell letter.

The girl seeks protection from the child welfare agency and is placed under supervision. The violence against her began when she was 12 years old, that is, when she entered puberty.

In May 2022, the father is asked for an interview at Bureau of Youth Services. There he says, "I will cut off her head. And if I can't do it, there are 500 other Yazidis who will do it for me." Note: Chopping off the head is more "Sharia" than Yazidi. The family is from Iraq, the father has been in Germany for about 15 years, has 10 children (7 boys, 3 girls), the co-accused son has a German passport. The father had an affair with a German woman.

In January 2023, the trial for threats and numerous physical and mental assaults begins at the Augsburg District Court. In March, father and son are each sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison for inflicting serious bodily injury, threats and other offenses. Both parties appeal.

Let's make a list: Killing one's own daughter, family violence, chopping off heads, planning in the family, no respect for the rights of the girl or woman, ignoring German law and the firm idea that by killing the daughter they were doing something good, namely restoring the family honor - these are typical aspects of an honor killing.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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