The murder of Maria Baroy – a Kurdish ‘honour killing’

News and Comment by The Kurdistan Tribune:

Maria Baroy

Maria Baroy (Photo - Hawlati)

A teenage Kurdish girl living in Sweden was murdered by her relatives last week, on 24th April, in a so-called honour killing.

19 year old Maria Baroy from Landskrona in southern Sweden, had chosen to have a relationship with someone who had not been selected for her by her family.  This was regarded as a stain on the family’s honour and she was stabbed to death.

Swedish police have made a number of arrests, including of female relatives of Maria, and they have confirmed that they regard this as an ‘honour killing’.

In recent years there have been ‘honour killings’ of young Kurdish women in Germany, Sweden, the UK, Norway, Denmark and Australia. However, Hozan Mahmud , a women’s rights activist and writer based in London told KT:  “This problem is not exclusive to the Kurdish community – other Asian communities have the same problem. In the south of Kurdistan, honour killing really started after 1991 – there were seldom cases before then.”

The increase in ‘honour killings’ since 1991 suggests that Kurdistan’s two ruling parties turned a blind eye to these atrocities in order to appease and win the backing of tribal chiefs. In the case of Du’a Khalil Aswad – the 17-year old stoned to death in 2007 – it was suspected that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) protected her killers because of links between the Yazidi tribe and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Hozan Mahmud confirmed that more research is needed into this increase in ‘honour killings’, in the south of Kurdistan and the diaspora, so that we can take the necessary steps to protect our young woman from deadly harm.

Copyright © 2012


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