Monday, June 18, 2007

Honour Killings in the U.K.

Thanks for Jules for the link to this awful topic:

Dedicated teams of senior prosecutors are to be deployed in the UK's honour killing hotspots in the wake of the failings exposed this week by the case of a young Kurdish woman murdered by her family.

The prosecutors, who have all had experience of complex organised crime cases, will start work this month as part of an overhaul of how cases are handled. The move is designed to boost conviction rates and improve protection for victims.


The changes come after Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year-old Kurd, was murdered by her father and uncle because they disapproved of her boyfriend who was not a strict Muslim and was not of their tribe.

She was found dumped in a suitcase, with the shoelace used to kill her around her neck. She had repeatedly told police her family were trying to kill her. In one instance where she had escaped from her father, she was not taken seriously, and described as melodramatic and manipulative by an officer who interviewed her.

It is a horrible topic, and there isn't anything very bright I can say about it. I could say a lot about the feelings of despair that overtake me, the insistent disbelief I have that someone could do this to their sister or daughter or niece and yet be regarded as a good person, and what this all says about how the humanity of women is viewed in vast areas of the world.

But perhaps the wider lesson is that no family should ever be regarded as owning its members, that no family's honor should ever be regarded as lodging inside someone's vagina and that the police should not assume that families always want the best for their members, especially the women.