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 Sweden: Young Kurdish girl Maria Barim killed in an 'honor killing' by her brother

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Sweden: Young Kurdish girl Maria Barim killed in an 'honor killing' by her brother  10.5.2012 

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19-year-old Maria Barin Aydin, stabbed to death by her brother. Photo: Ekurd.net/Youtube. See Related Links

May 10, 2012

STOCKHOLM,— In April 2012, a Kurdish woman was killed in an honor killing in Sweden. Swedish media paid significant attention to the case.

The case involves 19-year-old Maria Barin Aydin, stabbed to death by her brother.

Maria was a resident of Landskrona and lived alone. At the age of 14, her parents arranged a marriage for her and sent her back to Kurdistan.

A few years later, Maria returned to Sweden where she asked the Organization Supporting Women of Multicultural Backgrounds (TANK OM) for protection from domestic violence.

Through TANK OM, Maria participated in activities to help raise awareness among women at risk.

Members of the organization say that a few days prior to her death, Maria visited their office more frequently and informed them that she was very worried for her life.

Maria told the organization that she had to keep a knife under her bed to defend herself from her family. She told them that her family had become violent with her and accused her of bringing shame to the family.

Swedish police have detained Maria’s mother and brother in connection with the murder. Her mother has denied any involvement.

Seyran Duran, head of the Kurdish Women’s Union in Sweden, believes “the role of the mother in such cases is big.”

“Mothers know a lot of things about the family,” Duran told Rudaw. “If mothers educate female and male siblings equally, if they don’t teach them violence, such incidents won’t happen.”

Duran has been working on women’s issues for years in Sweden. She says there is no accurate data of the number of women killed in honor killings,
www.ekurd.net but believes “between 15 and 20 ladies have been killed.”

According to Duran, one reason for lack of accurate data is that “in most cases, families take their daughters back to Kurdistan and kill them there.”

“Then, here in Sweden, they claim their daughter married someone at home and stayed there. Thus they get away without punishment,” she said.

Duran urges Kurdish women in Sweden not to go to NGOs for help when they face domestic violence.

“Swedish organizations charge money to work on such cases,” she says. “Whenever they work on a case, they ask the municipality of the city in which the victim lives for money. When the city does not allocate money, the organization ignores the case and thus the victim is further victimized.”

Duran says Kurdish women’s organizations intervene directly with the family to settle the issue with their daughters.

“The Kurdish organizations try to mediate between the family and the victim,” she says. “In the past, we have had a number of cases in which we mediated between the victim and the family and solved the issue.”

Last week, people across Sweden lit candles for Maria. Her portrait was placed in public places. Kurdish residents were saddened by Maria’s death that added another name to the list of Kurdish women who have fallen victim to domestic violence.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, rudaw.net

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