Honour killing story

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Birsen T.
born 1980
stabbed to death: 16 October 2002
Residence: Friedrichsdorf (Taunus)
Origin: Turkey
Children: none
Perpetrator: her husband Mehmet T., 23 years old at the time of the crime
Birsen was born and raised in Germany. Yet her parents marry her off to a cousin from Turkey. In February 2002, he came to Germany from his Anatolian village (where he herded his family's sheep).

Because the imported groom expects his wife to ask him for permission for every little thing, a quarrel soon ensues. He hits her. Soon she lets him know that she wants a divorce. He finds it humiliating that he would lose his residence permit as a result. He threatens to kill her.

On October 16, there is another argument. Mehmet ties up his wife, presses a pillow over her mouth and turns on the music system. Then he stabs her almost 50 times. Birsen bleeds to death. The killer takes 250 euros from his wife's wallet and leaves the apartment. Moments later he is arrested in front of a café.

In May 2003, the Frankfurt District Court sentences Mehmet to 13 years and 6 months in prison for manslaughter. His appeal is dismissed, but the joint plaintiffs' appeal is partially granted. On January 28, 2004, the Federal Supreme Court stated, "In the global assessment of whether a motive for murder is objectively to be considered low, the cultural background of the perpetrator is not relevant. It is true that the overall assessment of whether a motive is objectively low takes into account the circumstances of the crime and the living conditions and personality of the perpetrator. However, the yardstick for the objective assessment of a motive as low must be derived from the views of the legal community of the Federal Republic of Germany in which the offender lives and before whose court he must answer, and not from the views of an ethnic group that does not feel fully bound by the moral and legal values of this legal community." The verdict is considered to be trend-setting.

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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