Honor killing in Lebanon: man murders his wife in front of their three children in Choueifat

Zainab Ali Zaiter
born: 1997
shot to death: 25 March 2023
Residence: Choueifat, Beirut
Origin: Lebanon
Children: 3
Perpetrator: her husband Hassan Musa Zaiter (27 years old at the time of the crime)
On Saturday afternoon, March 25, 2023, Choueifat, a suburb of Beirut, is rocked by a brutal murder. 27-year-old Hassan Musa Zaiter murders his wife, Zainab, in front of their three children by shooting 10 bullets into her head. Hassan flees the house, taking his children with him.

Neighbors label the murder an honor killing. Hassan was allegedly called by someone who pointed out to him that there were photos of Zainab without a headscarf on the Internet. Hassan allegedly searched Zainab's phone and found nude photos of her. Hassan felt betrayed and his honor violated. Zainab's phone was not found at the crime scene.

Zainab's brother sympathizes with the killer, saying in a video: "If he hadn't done this, I would have done it." He talks about restoring honor and washing away shame. He is not seeking "revenge."

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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