Honour killing story

Ulla N.
born: 1968
burned: 5/6 October 2013
Residence: Berlin-Charlottenburg
Provenance: Victim: Germany; Perpetrator: Cuba
Children: probably none
Perpetrator: her ex-boyfriend Jorge Q. (51 years)
Is this case an honour killing or not? First of all, it's a crime within a relationship. The perpetrator is a Cuban programmer named Jorge, who works in Munich on weekdays with an Italian passport. He probably got his Italian passport by marrying an Italian woman. He raids the shared apartment in Berlin at night, pours gasoline on his partner and sets her on fire. The victim, Ulla N., is a teacher at a school.

This act stands out because of his brutality: Ulla flees burning and falls into the stairwell. A neighbour tries to come to her rescue, but the woman burns alive. A few hours later, Jorge reports himself to the police.

The following indications are in the press: The two had been together for 8 years, and Ulla on the other hand gave courses in natural medicine. Later jealousy is mentioned as a motive. This is possible, but does not necessarily indicate an honour killing. It would only be an honour killing if the perpetrator is firmly convinced that he has a right to the woman and if necessary must enforce this right with murder.

In June 2014, Jorge will be sentenced to life imprisonment and the particular seriousness of the guilt will be established. Interesting detail: He stated that he "only wanted to burn his girlfriend". A police officer testified that the perpetrator wanted to make her "ugly" so that she would stay with 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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