Honour killing in Uttar Pradesh, India: Man beheads teenage sister

Age: 18
Stabbed to death: July 2023
Place of residence: Uttar Pradesh
Origin: India
Children: none
Perpetrator: brother Riyaz
In India, a man beheaded his teenage sister because she wanted to marry a man of her own choosing. There had been an argument over Aashifa's relationship with a man named Chand Babu, who came from the same village in Uttar Pradesh. Although they belonged to the same caste and religion, her family strongly disapproved of the relationship, especially her brother Riyaz.

There were frequent arguments between the brother and sister about this. A few days before this tragic honor killing, Aashifa ran away with her lover, causing her family to report Chand to the police. Her father, Abdul Rashid, accused Chand of kidnapping his daughter with the intention of marrying her. Aashifa eventually returned home and Chand was arrested.

This heightened tensions between Aashifa and Riyaz. When the 18-year-old expressed her desire to marry Chand, Riyaz became violent. He mercilessly stabbed his sister and used the same weapon to decapitate her. Riyaz then put his sister's severed head in a plastic bag and ran through the neighborhood with both the head and the murder weapon. Startled neighbors saw the blood-soaked bag and alerted the police. Officers quickly arrived and arrested Riyaz.

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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