Honour killing story

Mariam R. + her boyfriend/husband
born: 1978, 1976
stabbed to death: 20 March 2002
Residence: Hamburg
Origin: Afghanistan
Children: none
Perpetrator: her ex-husband Nasir Ahmad Rasikh (35 years old at the time of the crime)
Mariam comes to Germany in 1981 with her parents and older brother and later studies pharmacy. At the age of 19 she marries Nasir, an Afghan who has been living in Hamburg for several years. The marriage lasts only a few months, after which she wants a divorce. Nasir does not accept this and starts harassing and stalking her. Around the year 2000, the marriage is separated.

Mariam meets George, an Aramean Christian from Syria who converts to Islam. An imam marries them in early 2002.

In March 2002, George drives with Mariam to a gas station in St. Pauli. There the couple is attacked by Mariam's ex-husband and his accomplice Ahmad. The two have been following the couple, waiting for an opportunity to kill them.

While the accomplice is holding Mariam, Nasir stabs her a dozen times. Then he stabs his ex-wife's new partner to death.

The perpetrator flees and is chased by a gas station employee. He calls the police. Nasir is overpowered and arrested. He still has the bloody knife with him. Mariam dies at the scene, George later in the hospital.

Nasir is sentenced to life imprisonment, the special guilt charge is established. The accomplice is acquitted. Still in court, Nasir threatens the victim's family. His lawyer appeals. In November 2003, the Federal Supreme Court upholds the verdict.

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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