Honour killing story

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Asta Gietenbruch
Born: 1968
Strangled: September 17, 2007
Residence: Kempten (Allgäu)
Origin: Victim: Lithuania; Offender: Morocco
Children: 2
Perpetrator: her ex-lover Zohair El B. (28 years old)
In early 2007, Zohair took a course in German with Asta Gietenbruch, who is from Lithuania. She is an interpreter and married to a German named Torsten.

Asta and Zohair begin an affair. In September, Asta distances herself. A few days later, her ex-lover strangles her at the Oy pond near Wildpoldsried (Oberallgäu). Only in December, the body is found by a fisherman almost 3 months later.

The perpetrator was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder by the Kempten Regional Court in the summer of 2008. Due to a procedural error, the trial will be repeated. The procedural error was that during a visit, the perpetrator had told his wife to flee to Italy to testify via video message that he had hired a Russian hitman to kill Asta. However, this intercepted conversation should not have been used.

In the appeal process, the verdict was affirmed in December 2009. During the pronouncement of the verdict, the perpetrator reads aloud from the Koran, the interpreter translates. In August 2010, the verdict becomes final.

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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