Honour killing story

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Figen Capkan
Born: 1972
Shot: 17 October 2009
Residence: Groß-Umstadt (near Darmstadt)
Origin: Turkey
Children: 1 boy, 2 girls (at the time of the crime 19, 15, 7 years old)
Perpetrator: her husband Ismet (age 42)
Ismet was born in 1967 in Erlangen and brought 17-year-old Figen as a bride from Turkey in 1988. The couple initially moves to Erlangen. Later, both have German and Turkish citizenship. He works as a courier. They have three children.

Ismet mistreats his wife. It comes to a charge of domestic violence. Figen wants a divorce. On October 17, 2009, she disappears. Four days later, friends report her missing. Police break down the door and find blood. Search dogs later find the body in the woods. To make identification difficult, the perpetrator (presumably with the help of a friend) had cut off the head. Police find him in the vineyards near Saulheim in Rheinhessen.

Ismet is arrested on the run in Georgia. In February 2011, the trial begins in the district court of Darmstadt. In a separate trial, the aide and colleague is also indicted. He first states as a witness that Ismet called him to pick up his daughter. It is possible that the 7-year-old girl saw her mother's body and was to be taken to Turkey. Many of the testimonies in the trial are confusing and do not fit together. However, it appears that Figen had already been hospitalized once for a broken nasal bone. Allegedly, she had attacked her husband and he had to fight back.

In March 2011, Ismet was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Darmstadt district court for murder. In the justification for the sentence, it is said that Figen had emancipated herself during the years in Germany. She wanted to divorce and start a new life. This was not accepted by her husband and he killed her to preserve his honor.

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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