Honour killing story

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Shirin P. and her mother (severely injured)
born: 2007
stabbed to death: 25 September 2008
Residence: Hannover
Origin: victim: Germany, perpetrator: Iran
Children: the girl herself was still a baby
Perpetrator: Masoud M., 53 years old, life partner of her mother
For about two years, the unstable relationship exists between 39-year-old Manuela P. and 53-year-old Masoud M. She has a baby, perhaps from another man. Perhaps she is keeping the Iranian man in the dark about whether or not he is the biological father of little Shirin.

During the relationship, Masoud abuses his partner. She moves several times, once even to a women's shelter, but she returns again.

On one occasion the police have to intervene because the Iranian does not want to hand over the child to the mother after an argument. Also the youth care is several times in the shared apartment. So Masoud is no stranger to the police and youth care.

In the early morning hours of September 25, 2008, Masoud stabs the eleven-month-old baby and seriously injures his partner. Then he calls the ambulance at 4:30, saying, "I killed my wife and daughter."

The police find multiple knives at the scene. Masoud also has injuries. But officers assume he inflicted the cuts himself.

In March 2009, the trial begins. Masoud is charged with manslaughter. It is said that the murder criterion of deceiving the victim is not met, because it presupposes that the victim could have any suspicion at all (which is not the case with a baby). Presumably, the victim had two teenage (half) siblings who also appear in court.

In April 2009, Masoud was sentenced to eleven years in prison for manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm. In the justification of the verdict it is stated that Masoud could not bear the fact that his wife wanted to divorce him and take the baby with her. Also explicitly mentioned are his traditional image of women and the extreme controlling behavior of the Iranian. Until the end, he had claimed that the mother had stabbed the baby.

Why should this murder be an honor killing? The child, which may belong to another man, is a sign that Manuela is not completely submissive to her significant other. She can have a sex life of her own, independent of him. A murderer of honor kills to punish a woman for her alleged misconduct. He casts himself as a judge of the woman's life and death. In the process, he tries - at any cost - to restore his honor. The fact that he not only tries to kill his partner, but also kills the daughter, might indicate that he also wants to get rid of the evidence of the alleged misconduct.

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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