Honour killing story

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Nezara Z.
born 1969
stabbed to death: 1 January 2001
Residence: Berlin-Neukölln
Origin: Afghanistan
Children: 4 sons, between 2 and 11 years old at the time of the crime
Perpetrators: Nezara's brother-in-law Badsha (29 years old at the time of the crime) and her 16-year-old cousin Magid
Nezara has lived with her husband and four children in Berlin-Neukölln since the late 1980s. He works as a driver, she as a cleaner. They also have a teenage cousin, Magid, who lives with them.

When the husband dies of cancer, his Afghan family demands that she marry his brother Badshah. This is customary according to the rules of the Pashtun clan. He pressures her, even though he already has a wife and four children. He wants Nezara to be his second wife, to raise their sons and dispose of the money her late husband left to the family. But she refuses.

On New Year's Eve 2000/2001, Magid (who has been living in Nezara's apartment like a son for two years) arms himself with a knife. He opens the door for the rejected groom Badshah.

The two shoot and stab Nezara and two male relatives who reside in the apartment. The head of the homicide department will later say he saw many things, but nothing like this, "It was a military attack." Fifty stab wounds in Nezara's chest. The entire apartment is covered in blood.

After the crime, Magid claims that he is only 13 and therefore nothing can happen to him. However, investigations soon reveal that at the time of the crime he was 16 or 17 years old - and thus of age to commit a crime. Magid receives an eight-year juvenile sentence for two counts of manslaughter. During the trial, Nezara's children testify to the crime and are threatened by clan members.

The rejected groom Badsha receives a life sentence for three counts of murder. The two men he shot dead in their home together left behind 17 children (according to the Tagesspiegel. Given the age of the men - 41 and 23 - the number seems very high, but possible).

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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