April 30, 2012
BERLIN,— The brother of a young Kurdish
woman admitted Monday to gunning her down in a
so-called “honour killing” that shocked Germany, at
the start of the trial of five siblings, news agency
As women’s rights groups rallied outside the
regional court in the western city of Detmold,
22-year-old Osman Ozmen said he had “lost control”
and shot his sister Arzu, 18, in November, according
to the report.
Her sister Sirin, 27, and brother Kirer, 25,
confessed in court to helping kidnap her.
Prosecutors said they were enraged by Arzu’s
relationship with a German man.
Her body with bullet wounds to the head was
discovered near the northern city of Hamburg in
January after a 10-week search that received intense
media attention, with photographs of the woman with
cropped blonde hair splashed across newspapers.
The family originally from eastern Turkey is Yazidi,
a highly traditional Kurdish ethno-religious group.
Prosecutors say her siblings, ranging in age from 21
to 27, could not accept her seeing a man from
outside their community, which numbers about 60,000
Three of the defendants are on trial for murder and
all five are charged with kidnapping.
Five hearings have been scheduled during the trial
with 30 witnesses called to testify. The clan’s
father, who is the subject of a separate
is not expected to address the court during the
Rights organisations held a vigil urging the German
justice system not to view the family’s religious
beliefs as a mitigating factor and to urge better
protection for potential victims of “honour
There are no official figures available on “honour
killings” in Germany.
A Berlin-based organisation that seeks to help young
women and girls threatened with violence or forced
marriage, Papatya, has said 45 known cases occurred
in the country from 1996 to 2004.
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