Date: 18 Dec 2009


The Daily Telegraph, Friday 18th. December 2009, p. 1. Honour killing claims a victim every month. By Gordon Rayner and John Bingham AN "honour killing" is carried out every month as violence committed in the name of religion in England and Wales rises significantly. he number of murders, rapes and assaults on people who dare to break strict religious or cultural rules is doubling every year, police figures show, with up to two violent "honour crimes" being committed every day. Charities that help victims of honour crimes say the true extent of the problem is far worse than the statistics show, as every year hundreds of victims- normally women- are too frightened to report attacks or give evidence in court. The escalating problem was highlighted yesterday as an Old Bailey jury convicted Mehmet Goren, 49, of the premeditated murder of his 18-year old daughter Tulay after she fell in love with someone from the "wrong" branch of Islam. Tulay disappeared 10 years ago after telling a friend she might be pregnant, Justice caught up with her father after his wife "courageously" testified against h im and lifted what was described as the "cloak of secrecy" which surrounds honour crimes. A prosecutor said the case was a "wake up call" to the authorities over the extent of the problem in Britain which campaigners say is growing because of t he rise of religious fundamentalism. Tulay and h er family had nine contacts with police in the days before her death, during which they complained of violence by Goren, but officers had little understanding at the time of the concept of honour crimes and she was left at the mercy of her father. he court heard that Tulay whose Turkish Kurd family are Alevi Muslims, was drugged, tortured and killed by her father after she fell in love with a Sunni Muslim twice her age. Her body has never been found. Goren, who adhered to what one police officer described as "outdated feudal beliefs", was sentenced to serve a minimum of 22 years by the judge who condemned the "hideous practice" of "honour killings". Tulay's sister Nuray Guler told the court the teenager had been "caught in the middle of two clashing world" and pleaded with police to stop other women falling victim to this primitive custom". She expressed fears for the safety of her mother Hanim, whose evidence against Goren had put her own life to danger. "No one should fail to realise what this means within our culture," she said. "these people do not forget". Figures revealed by the Metropolitan Police show that in London there were 1219 honour-based crimes between April and October this year, compared with 132 in the whole of 2008-09, which in turn was double the number of t he previous year. he Home Office has estimated that there are an average of 12 honour killings each year in England and Wales. Diana Nammi, the director f the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, said the figures were "the tip of the iceberg" and suggested there were more than a500 honour crimes each year. he said, The rise of fundamentalism is the reason these crimes are increasing. "The Government has also been turning a blind eye to the problem, which only makes things worse." Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for Keighley, near Bradford, who has campaigned to raise awareness of honour crimes, said councils in areas with large ethnic minority populations remained reluctant to confront the problem because it was such a politically sensitive issue. She sad, "I is a real struggle to get this issue out in the open because, instead of looking after the human rights of vulnerable young women, you get accused doing down the Asian community." ------------------------------------------- 000000000