Honor Killing in Germany After Police Slip-Up

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A 19-year old girl was strangled to death by her father in an honor killing in Germany after police informed him by letter she had been caught shoplifting condoms.

Asadullah Khan, 51, strangled his daughter Lareeb while she slept in the family home. He and his wife, Shazia Khan, then dressed Lareeb in her work clothes as a dental assistant and put her body in their car and discarded it in a nearby forest.

The pair is being charged with murder.

Asadullah Khan admitted the killing and told the court that his daughter had brought dishonor on the family by forming a relationship with a boyfriend he did not approve of. He wanted her to have an arranged marriage with someone from Pakistan.

“'Lareeb stayed away from the home for several nights in a row and stopped wearing the headscarf,” Shazia Khan, Lareeb's mother, told the court. “One day we received a letter from the police saying she had been caught trying to steal condoms. At this point it became clear that there was sexual contact. When I showed the letter to my husband he snapped.”

Shazia Khan claimed that she was a cowed and submissive wife who had been physically unable to restrain her husband and prevent the murder.

But Lareeb’s younger sister, Nida, 14, told the court that her mother was just as bad as her father and would beat the girls often.

“My Mama was not suppressed, she could do what she wanted. She used to hit me with a stick,” Nida said.

“We were never allowed to talk about her boyfriend. My father used to say my sister should be forcibly married in Pakistan.”

Honor violence campaigners in the UK harshly criticized the German police for their handling of the situation.

German police did not acknowledge the risk of ‘honor’ killing to Lareeb when they told her family that she had been caught attempting to steal condoms” the Iranian and Kurdish Womens Rights Organization (IKWRO) said in a statement.

“We can only conclude that the police involved did not have a proper understanding of 'honour'-based violence and had not been sufficiently trained to know that providing this information to her parents could put her in greater danger. The German police must be held to account for their failures for true justice for Lareeb,” continued the statement.

Lareeb’s boyfriend Raheel, 25, told the court they had wanted to get married. 

Clarion Project's award winning movie Honor Diaries follows the stories of nine brave women activists in their struggle against honor violence. It is available on itunes, Amazon and Netflix

Watch the trailer:

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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