More murderers of Banaz Mahmood have finally been brought to justice after two of her cousins were jailed yesterday:
Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain, both 28, received minimum jail terms of 22 and 21 years respectively. The victim’s father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle Ari Mahmod were jailed for life her murder in 2007. Ali and Hussain – who were also found guilty of burying Miss Mahmod’s body, conspiring to kidnap her boyfriend Rahmat Sulemani and threatening to kill him – fled to Iraq after the murder.
Banaz was murdered in an ‘honour’ killing in 2006 by her family for leaving her abusive husband and beginning a new relationship. The case soon became a symbol of not just the brutality of ‘honour’-based violence, but also the incompetence of the authorities in events leading up to her death and investigations afterwards. One of the officers involved, despite dismissing the desperate claiming of Banaz, was promoted and an IPCC hearing failed to discpline her properly.
There was also a failure to extradite key suspects from Iraqi Kurdistan, and process made doubly difficult by the uncertain legal and diplomatic status of the Kurdistan area in Iraq. So the extradition, prosecution and conviction of these men was only accomplished after a long and hard fight. So well done to all the campaigners who pressed for their trial. And well done to the state officials who made it happen. It sends a powerful message to all those who flee to other countries in the hope of escaping prosecution.
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence