Honour killing story

Hers K.
Born: 1971
stabbed to death: July 1995
Residence: Hannover
Origin: Iraq / Kurds / Yazidis
Children: unclear, probably none
Perpetrators: Hassan, Ibrahim, Alaadin (36, 39, 42 years old at the time of the crime)
In 1994, Hers comes to Germany as a 23-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq. His 17-year-old sister is married off to the Iraqi Yazidi Hassan in 1995 as a second wife in Hanover.

So her brother brings her to Hanover as an import bride from Iraq. There they discover that Hassan already has a second wife. This leads to a family feud. Hers does not want his sister to become a third wife. As a result, he is stabbed to death by three perpetrators: Hassan, his brother Ibrahim, and a man named Alaadin. The body is buried tied up in a plastic bag in the forest near Burgwedel-Fuhrberg. Only in the autumn of the following year is the corpse discovered by mushroom pickers.

The program Aktenzeichen XY ungelöst reports on the case. The perpetrators are arrested.

A friend of the victim was supposed to witness the crime at the time. At the trial, he is supposed to testify as a witness for the court in 1997. He is placed in the witness protection program, but leaves for Syria, presumably under pressure from his family. The trial does not go ahead.

Later the witness is questioned in Syria. A written statement is available. Then the parents of the young Iraqi woman were to be questioned in Turkey, but the Turkish authorities prevent this. Thus, the second attempt at trial in 2009 also fails.

In February 2017, the trial begins again at the district court in Hanover. Of the 3 perpetrators, only Hassan K., who has a German passport and is now retired, is still alive. The victim's sister, i.e. the woman who was supposedly married at the time, is in the witness protection program. The accused, who is now 59 years old, refuses to testify.

In March, the accused is acquitted. For many reasons, the crime could not be proven, including the absence of a key witness and sloppy work by the police and authorities.

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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