Honour killing story

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Birgit S.
born 1958
stabbed: 28 February 2007
Residence: Brand-Erbisdorf (Saxony)
Origin: victim: Germany, perpetrator: Tunisia
Children: one adult daughter from a previous marriage
Perpetrator: her husband Mohamed Salah (age 30 at the time of the crime)
Birgit is a hairdresser and already married twice when she meets Mohamed, an entertainer, on vacation in Tunisia in 2004. Despite strong objections from those around her, she visits him several times and finally marries him in December 2006. At the end of 2006 he comes to Germany and works as a waiter.

There are probably problems because Birgit cuts other men's hair in the hair salon. In court, the manager of the hair salon testified that Mohamed was constantly calling or sneaking around the store. She also saw text messages on Birgit's cell phone with death threats.

About two months after arriving in Germany, Mohamed strangled his wife with a massage belt in the bathtub. When Birgit does not appear at work, the boss informs the police. The officers find the body. The perpetrator flees and is arrested in Sicily.

In early 2008, the trial begins before the Chemnitz Regional Court. In March, the perpetrator is sentenced to 8 years in prison for manslaughter. The prosecution's appeal is rejected a few months later.

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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