Honour killing story

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Lena / Magdalena S.
Born: 1985
Burned alive: 2 March 2009
Residence: Munich
Origin: Victim: Germany; Perpetrator: Afghanistan
Children: probably none
Perpetrator: her ex-boyfriend Daryoush (age 29 at the time of the crime)
The customer service employee Lena (Magdalena) had met her boyfriend at her workplace in the DIY store OBI. The German-Afghan worked there as an area manager. He is considered well integrated, but he lists Islam as one of his hobbies. In the fall of 2008, Daryoush goes to work as a manager in the used car business. Lena goes to an Internet company after studying business administration. The two have been a couple for three years. At the end of February 2009, Lena divorced. Neighbors confirm loud arguments.

On March 2, Daryoush drives to her apartment in Munich. As far as can be reconstructed, he ties Lena to him with a metal chain. He douses her and himself with gasoline and sets himself on fire. He may have drugged the young woman beforehand.

The force of the explosion is so great that the facade cracks over two floors. The bodies are so charred that they can only be identified by DNA analysis.

Later a friend says that Daryoush may have been distraught because his parents did not approve of the relationship. If this version is correct, this case is not an honor killing. Details supporting this are the burning, unusual for an honor killing, and the simultaneous suicide.

It is quite possible, however, that Daryoush gave in to pressure from his family, but wanted to use the murder to prevent Lena from looking for another husband on her own. The act would demonstrate his ultimate claim to power over her. That, in turn, would be an honor killing.

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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