German court gives father life jail for honour killing of daughter

German court gives father life jail for honour killing of daughter
12/29/2009
News Category : Europe

Kleve, Germany – A German court imprisoned a Kurdish man, 50, for life on Tuesday for ordering the “honour killing” of his own daughter after being told she had lost her virginity. A son and an Azeri friend lured the 20-year-old woman, Gulsum, to a lonely country road near the Dutch border, throttled her with a rope and clubbed her to death, inflicting horrific injuries to her face.

German authorities have vowed to stamp out the archaic custom among some Kurds, Turks and other ethnic groups of families murdering their own members who offend “family honour” through sexual relationships. Social workers had earlier tried to protect Gulsum.

The state court at Kleve sentenced Gulsum’s brother, 20, to nine and a half years in youth prison, just short of the maximum youth sentence of 10 years. He and the victim were two out of three triplets. He had confessed to the killing after he was arrested.

His helper, 37, was jailed for seven and a half years.

Judges said they were convinced the only motive to murder Gulsum had been that she was no longer a virgin and had secretly undergone an abortion.
They said they were also convinced the father of 10, who denied the murder, had ordered his son to kill the sister.

The trio were accused of jointly murdering her in March.

Gulsum had rebelled against the family’s Muslim-oriented rules and after suffering several beatings at home, requested help from German social workers. They arranged for her to live in an apartment, but she later moved home to her family again.

The family, who moved to Germany from Turkey, had lived for 15 years in the small town of Rees on the Rhine plain in the west of Germany.

German federal police say there have been 55 honour killings in Germany over the last nine years. An anthropologist, Anna Caroline Coester, said last month that count was too high, with only 40 per cent of the cases cold-blooded honour killings in the strict sense.

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