Honour killing story

born: 1969
burned: 8 September 2015
Residence: Hamburg
Origin: Afghanistan
Children: 4
Perpetrator: her husband Mohamad (47 years)
In 1995 Homa and her husband Mohamad came from Afghanistan with 3 children as refugees to Germany.

Homa works as a kitchen helper, her husband Mohamad is an unemployed guard. That's why he accompanies and controls his wife every step of the way. When she takes a shower in the morning of 8 September 2015, he enters the bathroom. He says "Look" and pours three litres of hot oil on her face. As a reason he will declare in court that he wanted to make her unattractive to other men. The crime is reminiscent of acid attacks. About half of Homa's skin is burned.

Mohamad goes to the police and says he killed his wife. Paramedics are already there. The policemen take the victim to a special clinic. Homa survives seriously injured. She stays in intensive care for 3 weeks.

In February 2016, the attempted murder trial starts at the Hamburg District Court. Mohamad testifies that he was jealous and afraid of the shame that his wife would like to please someone else. He had forbidden her to take a German course. In April Mohamad was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for attempted murder and inflicting serious bodily harm.

In November, the Federal Supreme Court partially reverses the decision. The Hamburg District Court should have given the accused the opportunity to pronounce his closing speech behind closed doors, it is said. This would have brought to light possible motives relevant to punishment. It is explicitly a question of influencing the conviction in a positive way. Considerations about the safety of the woman and her daughter clearly do not play a role in this.

In February 2017, the case will be referred back to the Hamburg District Court. The punishment will remain in April for attempted murder, the prison sentence will be reduced by 6 months for unknown reasons. The marriage has now ended.

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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