Honour killing story

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Ulerika Zena
Born: 1987
Strangled: March 13, 2003
Residence: Kusterdingen near Tübingen
Origin: Albania/Kosovo
Children: none (she was only 16 years old)
Perpetrator: her father Latif (at the time of the crime 42 years old)
Ulerika came to Germany with her parents as a two-year-old in 1989. She grows up near Tübingen, is well integrated and is even elected school representative. Her father Latif sees his family honor tarnished by her Western lifestyle. The heating engineer is not religious, but very traditional and patriarchal. When his oldest daughter falls in love with Mirsad (who has an Albanian father but "only" a Bosnian mother), her father goes crazy and strangles her in the basement of his house. He throws the body into a quarry pond. Later, her mother Hanife explains that his racial hatred was also the cause of the murder.

The next morning, the father reports his daughter missing and tells the police a crude kidnapping story. However, he does not last long and confesses to the murder.

He also claims that it could just as easily have happened to his allegedly unfaithful wife. Racial hatred was apparently accompanied by hatred of emancipation and freedom.

Retrospect: Ulerika's mother Hanife had been forcibly married off at age 16 in Kosovo to a man she did not know. Her sister was married off to his brother. From the beginning, Latif beat his wife (and probably his mother). When she was 18, she had her first daughter, Ulerika. After that, the family fled to Germany. There Hanife takes a language course - against the will of her husband, who never learns German. Later she looks for a job, first at a bakery, then in an old people's home. The more independent she becomes, the harder her husband mistreats her. But she does not divorce him because he threatens to kill her and the daughters then.

But after Ulerika's murder, Hanife divorces him after a violent marriage of 18 years. She takes her maiden name Gashi and moves to another place with her three younger daughters. In January 2005, her book: My pain bears your name is published.

The father is sentenced in December 2003 to fifteen years in prison for murder with immoral motives. While still in prison, he threatens to have his ex-wife and daughters killed by a contract killer. In addition, his Albanian family would now "take care" of Ulerika's friend Mirsad. His appeal is rejected. If he is released from prison again, he poses a threat to his ex-wife and especially his daughters at any time. According to Albanian customary law, the Kanun, he is innocent anyway: a father has the right to kill his children. Some relatives who also live in Germany see it that way and openly pity 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.

Posted in Honour killing, Investigation, Whistleblower and tagged , , , .