Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Action urged over honour killings

ITN - Tuesday, June 12 06:42 am

More should be to be done to stop women becoming victims of so-called honour crimes, campaigners have said. They spoke out following the conviction of Mahmod Mahmod over the murder of his daughter Banaz.

Her uncle Ari Mahmod was also found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey. Banaz was strangled with a bootlace and then buried in a suitcase after falling in love with a man her family did not approve of.

Campaign group the Southall Black Sisters has called for a "robust approach" in tackling so-called honour killings and demanded an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the case.

Mohammed Shafiq, spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, spoke of the group's horror at the case. He said: "We wish to make clear that the illegal practice of forced marriages and honour killings are not from Islam and Islam specifically condemns and forbids them.

"We offer our deepest sympathies to the victim's family and welcome the verdict. "The Ramadhan Foundation today calls on all Mosques, Imams and Muslim organisations to speak up and confront these issues; only with this essential debate can we send the message that this can never be tolerated.

"We will shortly be publishing expert guidance on why Islam forbids this behaviour, how we confront those that practise these issues and we can eradicate them."

It has also emerged that a number of police officers are facing an internal disciplinary investigation over the case amid claims by fellow officers that Banaz would still be alive if she had done her job properly.

Banaz told police she feared for her life four times before she disappeared and even gave them a list of three men she thought would murder her. One of the men she named later admitted to his part in the crime while the other two have fled the country.

During the trial, Detective Inspector Caroline Goode, who led the investigation into Banaz's death, said she had spoken to officers about "mistakes" in dealing with her.

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