| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Afghan brothers go on trial in Germany for ‘honor killing’ of sister

On Wednesday, two Afghan brothers accused of murdering their sister for embracing a Western way of life went on trial in Berlin, in a case that highlighted violence against women and cultural difficulties among some new migrants to Germany.

According to the Berlin prosecutor’s office, the defendants, known as Sayed H. and Seyed H. under German privacy regulations, are accused of enticing their 34-year-old sister to meet them in Berlin last July then choking and slitting her throat.

All three siblings were Afghan citizens who had been residing in Germany for a number of years.

The brothers, aged 23 and 27, did not accept that their sister had divorced her husband, to whom she was married at the age of 16, after a violent marriage.

They are believed to had put the body of the woman, who was a mother of two, in a suitcase and transported it on a train to Bavaria where she was buried near one of the brothers’ residences, the prosecutors added.

The men have been in custody since August and could face life imprisonment if convicted.

The case casts a light on gender-based violence within migrant communities in Germany which received more than one million refugees in 2015 and 2016.

So-called “honour killings” in Syria and Afghanistan, from where the majority of refugees in Germany came from six years ago, are socially accepted and common in some communities there. The two countries rank near the bottom of the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index.

German women’s rights organization TERRE DES FEMMES (TDF) said the Afghan mother’s murder was not an isolated case, calling for support services for refugee women and to close cultural gaps in refugees’ integration policy in Germany.

Some 25 people were victims of attempted or actual “honor” murders in the last two years in Germany, TDF research found.

“However, this number is only the tip of the iceberg,” TDF said in a statement.

  • Reuters