Honour killing story

Fatma N.
born: 1981
stabbed to death: December 16, 2008
Residence: Bochum / Dorsten
Origin: Turkey
Children: one daughter (at the time of the crime 6 years old), one son (8 years old)
Perpetrator: Mehmet, her Turkish husband (29 years old)
Supposedly Fatma N. has been living in Bochum since 2000 with her husband and two common children. The husband, a qualified locksmith, has Turkish nationality, she has German nationality. In early 2008 Fatma divorced and moved with her children to the women's shelter in Dorsten. A history of domestic violence is likely. The Dorstener Zeitung reports the threat: "I will chop off your head and then take it to the police."

In December, Mehmet lures his wife into an ambush in the pedestrian area of Dorsten. He yanks her head back and sticks a knife in her throat - in front of their joint son. A witness will later say that the perpetrator almost cut off his wife's head. Some newspapers speak of the slaughter of a human being.

Following this, the perpetrator calmly walks away from the crime scene with his bloody knife about 30 cm long. Later he reports to the police, confesses to the crime, but claims not to remember any details.

The prosecutor later reported that the perpetrator had made a "pretty tough impression" during his interrogation and claimed that his wife was looking for a hitman for him. Therefore, he carried the knife in self-defense. At the start of the trial at the Essen District Court in June 2009, the defense lawyer claimed that Mehmet had heard voices (in his head) and therefore might not be guilty.

In the courtroom, the issue of how Mehmet was able to stalk his wife also comes up. He had put a rigged cell phone in his son's school bag and used cell phone tracking to find out where they were. In September 2009, Mehmet was sentenced to life in prison for his crime. The verdict stated that he had "literally slaughtered his wife."

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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