Honour killing story

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Born: 1972
stabbed: 6 February 2009
Residence: Mönchengladbach
Origin: Iraq / Kurds
Children: two sons (ages 2, 6) from a previous marriage
Perpetrator: her partner Mahmoud Ahmad (or Ahmed Ghassan Abdelmajid)
In March 2008, the 37-year-old Iraqi woman married in the Netherlands under Islamic law. She has two sons (ages 2 and 6) from a previous relationship. It is unclear whether they live with their mother or with their Iraqi father (age 39).

Her new "husband" moves illegally to Mönchengladbach after the wedding. She works there as a cleaning lady, he in agriculture. On February 6, 2009, he stabs her to death with several butcher knives and nearly 40 knife stabs. Some of the knife stabs would have been fatal on their own. Farida bleeds to death.

Afterwards Ahmed turns himself in to the police and gives a "completely sober" (Rheinische Post) account of his crime. He states that his real name is Mahmoud Ahmad (born 1971). However, he had lived in Belgium as a war refugee under the false name Ahmed Ghassan Abdelmajid (born 1978).

As a motive he gives several things: The woman had humiliated him with looks, he had felt oppressed, and she had spoken badly of him. Presumably he means to say that she was not as obedient as he had imagined. Ahmed has previously been in contact with the police for drug offenses and assaulting a woman.

In September 2009, the trial begins at the district court of Mönchengladbach. The statement of an ex-girlfriend is read out. The perpetrator had been strictly Islamic and very controlling towards her. Mahmoud is sentenced the same month to 11 years in prison for manslaughter.

Farida is not the woman's real name.

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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