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State Protection against Honour Killings

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Human Rights

UDHR

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 26

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Denmark

Denmark: Jail for 'honour' killing, Women in the Middle East, No. 44, July-Aug. 2006.

A court in Denmark has jailed a Pakistani man for life for ordering the murder of his 18-year-old daughter. Ghazala Khan was shot dead two days after her wedding, because the family opposed her choice of husband. She died and her husband was wounded last September at a train station in Slagelse, a village west of Copenhagen.

The court also set 16-year jail terms for Mr Abbas' older son Akhtar Khan - who admitted shooting his sister - and two uncles. The life sentence on the father, Ghulum Abbas, is commuted automatically to 16 years under Danish law.

Five other relatives and friends from the Pakistani community in Denmark who had helped track down the bride and her new husband received sentences of between eight and 14 years. Two of them, an aunt and another uncle who are still Pakistani nationals, face deportation after their sentences.

Great Britain

U.K: Two jailed for life over brutal honour killing , Women in the Middle East, No. 44, July-Aug. 2006.

A man and a 17-year-old youth were given life sentences today for the "brutal" honour killing of a female relative who had enraged her Pakistani family over her marriage plans. Samaira Nazir, a 25-year-old graduate and recruitment consultant, tried to escape her family home after rowing with her family over her plans to wed Salman Mohammed, an Afghan asylum seeker.

The Old Bailey heard that as she tried to run away, her brother Azhar Nazir, 30, dragged her back into the house and she met a "horrific death". Nazir and Mohammed were convicted by a jury last month. Nazir, a greengrocer, received a minimum term of 20 years. Mohammed was given a minimum tariff of 10 years.

Judge Christopher Moss told the pair: "This was a barbaric crime. She suffered a brutal, gruesome and horrific death ... Samaira Nazir was an accomplished young woman who was murdered by members of her family because she insisted on marrying someone deemed unsuitable." The court heard the victim's businessman father, who had also been arrested and bailed over the killing, fled to Pakistan and was claimed by the family to have died there.

During the trial, the jury heard that her brother had claimed her boyfriend was after the "family's money". In one telephone call to Salman Mohammed he had told him: "We can get you anywhere if you get married, even if you are not in this country." The couple had last seen each other about an hour before Ms Nazir was killed when they tried to talk to her mother at a relative's home.

Outside court today, Nazir Afzal, area director of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Samaira was murdered because she loved the wrong person, in her family's eyes. In that sense, it was an 'honour killing' to protect the perceived status of the family, to mark their disapproval.

Turkey

"Turkish Government Taking Unprecedented Steps Against 'Honor' Killings of Women," Feminist Daily News Wire, 11 January 2007.

Facing pressure from women's groups and the European Union, the Turkish government has begun a major media campaign condemning all violence towards women, especially so-called "honor" killings. They will also set up hotlines, rescue teams, and town hall meetings in the Kurdish southeastern area of the country, where the rate of honor killings is particularly high. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a conservative, has spoken out against the archaic practice, telling the Organization of the Islamic Conference that honor killings need to be abolished from all Islamic societies.

Honor killings are murders performed by male relatives who feel that a female family member has tarnished the family honor with "unchaste" or "disobedient" behavior ranging from expressing the desire to work outside of the home to speaking up about abuse or rape. Last year, Turkish women's groups told Time magazine that approximately 70 women die each year in honor killings in Turkey, though many more go unrecorded. The Los Angeles Times estimates that "thousands of women have died, been attacked, or compelled to commit suicide in so-called honor killings."

Turkey has previously been denied integration into the European Union in part because of its poor treatment of women, Time reports. In response, the government opened the first legitimate women's shelter in southeastern Turkey in 2005 and now houses about 50 women, many in their early 20s and victims of rape. Last year, jail sentences for men who commit honor killings were stiffened, and it is now harder for those sentences to be reduced.

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The Global Persecution of Women
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