Honour killing story

Marget and Katrin
born: 1982, 1981
Stabbed to death: 4 January 2015
Residence: Lüneburg
Origin: Iraq / Kurds / Jesides
Children: Marget 3, Katrin 2
Perpetrator: Marget's husband Ziad Karnous (37 years)
It is likely that Ziad came to Germany as a refugee from Iraq around 2003. He marries his cousin (not 1st degree) Marget Karnous and takes her name. They have three children (8, 9, 11 years old). Even after 11 years in Germany, Ziad speaks only broken German. He works as a kitchen helper. The family is inconspicuous until the crime.

Marget and Ziad are Yazidi. But Marget wants to divorce and become a Christian.

On 4 January 2015, Marget's friend Katrin, who is active in a Protestant free church, will be with her. Ziad stabs her to intimidate his wife. She probably refuses to return to him. She calls for help. Then he stabs her too. During the crime, the three children are with family members.

The neighbors hear the screams and call the police. Ziad is on the run. The police are looking for him all over Europe.

Apparently the perpetrator also has a different passport than Ziad Haji Rascho, his Iraqi name. There is also an earlier date of birth. Ziad pretended to be a minor when he entered Germany.

Almost 3 weeks after the crime, Ziad is arrested in Hamburg and charged with double murder. He confesses to the crime. In May 2015 the trial starts at the Lüneburg District Court.

In September, the twofold murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment. The particular seriousness of the guilt is established.

In December 2016, the Federal Supreme Court decided that the trial should be reopened.

In October 2017, the first verdict is confirmed: Life imprisonment. The court confirms that the defendant has not made any integration achievements in Germany in 15 years.

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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