Honour killing story

Melek E.
born 1969
stabbed to death: 29 November 2004
Residence: Berlin-Neukölln
Origin: Turkey
Children: unclear, probably 4 children from first marriage
Perpetrator: Selahattin E., Kurd, 21 year old male at the time of the crime
Melek E. is already divorced when she meets Selahattin. It is suspected that he wants to marry her to get a residence permit in Germany. He had previously entered the country illegally. But he knows that his wife is living a modern life in Berlin. Melek's motive for the wedding is unclear; perhaps her family is pushing.

They soon become embroiled in a brawl in which Selahattin exploits his physical superiority. This was also the case on November 29, 2004: when she was discussing a divorce, Selahattin rammed a knife into his wife's stomach.

He then carries her out into the street, stops a car and has her driven to the hospital. There he hands the badly injured woman over to the ambulance and flees. But help comes too late for his wife. She dies a few hours later in the hospital.

Two days after the crime, Selahattin is arrested. He had come to the hospital to inquire about his wife. She had survived the marriage to him for only four months.

At first Selahattin claims that it was suicide by his wife. Later he explains that it was some kind of accident and that his wife ran into him. He receives seven years in prison for manslaughter. He is considered fully culpable, but a direct intent to kill cannot be proven against him.

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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