Honour killing story

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Hanna H.
born: 1980
stabbed: 13 October 2009
Residence: Cologne
Origin: Victim: Germany, Perpetrator: Jordan
Children: three (at the time of the crime 4, 6, 13 years old)
Perpetrator: her divorced husband Feras Issa Saleh A. (at the time of the crime 35 years old)
In early 2009, the Jordanian moved with his German wife and three children to the Cologne neighborhood of Bilderstöckchen. Because he abuses his wife, she receives a restraining order with a no-contact order. He does not comply and continues to harass her - without consequences.

On October 13, 2009, he assaults his wife in the courtyard of their home. Then he rams a knife into her torso some 20 times and cuts into her face. Several neighbors see the act from the balcony, including children. They later testify that he was not sane. At the hospital, Hanna succumbs to her injuries.

The Jordanian flees to the airport. The next day, he is arrested in Brussels while checking in on the plane to Istanbul. In his pocket he still has a ticket to Damascus.

The three children are taken to their grandparents. Hanna is a German convert who lived with her husband in Jordan for a time. The trial will begin in July at the Regional Court in Cologne.

There it is said that Hanna has German-Jordanian parents, but German nationality. She was allegedly married off to her husband in Jordan at the age of 15. Later, parents, daughter and son-in-law came to Germany. In this case, the husband had repeatedly demanded money from his wife, which he had spent on prostitutes, among other things.

Feras admits to the murder of his wife, but pleads mental illness. For this, he was given a life sentence by the Cologne Regional Court in July 2010.

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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