Honour killing story

Saskia Sänger and her two children
born: 1986
Shot: 20 August 2012
Residence: Neuss
Origin: Perpetrators: Iraq, Kurds; Victims: Germany
Children: 1 son, 1 daughter (4 and 8 years)
Perpetrator: her husband Fallah Sänger (35 years)
Fallah is violent. His profession is indicated as a baker, or he works in a snack bar at the station. Other sources use the word occasional worker. Fallah came to Germany as a war refugee and has a German and an Iraqi passport.

In 2004 he marries the almost 10 years younger Saskia. The born Berliner is 18 years old and is expecting a child from him. Later he is evicted from the apartment several times because he beats up his wife. Probably Fallah had adopted Saskia's last name at the wedding.

On August 20, 2012, Fallah shoots his wife and two children in the shared apartment. The motive is the wife's divorce intentions.

After the crime, the perpetrator escapes with the gun. A European manhunt has started for him. Yet he manages to escape immediately after the crime. He flies from Düsseldorf airport to Turkey and from there takes a bus to northern Iraq. Iraq doesn't extradite its citizens to Germany, but that can change.

There are indications of support from the family of Fallah: First of all, a baker or a casual worker with two small children does not have the money to flee to Iraq as a matter of course, which makes the support of others at least likely.

It is also known that he booked the flight in a Neuss travel agency shortly before or shortly after the crime and had his brother with him. The owner testifies that Fallah seemed completely normal and paid his ticket in cash. In the taxi to the airport, the brother's wife, Fallah's sister-in-law, also travelled with him. Fallah checks in under his birth name Fallah Omar. In his hometown Kirkuk he goes to his mother, who informs the family in Neuss.

In 2013, the procedure will be provisionally closed. The weapon has been found, the traces are clear, but the perpetrator is out of reach of the German police. There are indications that he works undisturbed in a hotel kitchen. But at the end of 2014 there is some more movement in the case: A photo shows Fallah with his mother at Istanbul airport. Yet he still hasn't been caught.

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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