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‘Honour’ based violence – Government plan does not do enough

Press release 7 March 2011
‘Honour’ based violence – Government plan does not do enough

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation today welcomed the government’s new action plan on violence against women and girls, but expressed concerns that the document does not do enough to help victims of ‘honour’ based violence.

IKWRO Director Diana Nammi said today:

“Every single day girls and women in the UK are locked up, threatened, beaten, forced into marriage and even murdered by their families in the name of so called ‘honour’. While acknowledging the specific issues faced by those women and girls, the new action plan does not do enough to protect them.”

The government has no figures on how many people are affected by ‘honour’ based violence in this country, but in 2009 police recorded over 250 incidents in London alone. IKWRO staff members suspect that across the country there are many thousands more. The IKWRO advice line received 1500 calls last year, many of them from women at risk of ‘honour’ killing.

“The government is talking about developing a training programme for police that was originally promised three years ago. What we really need is a national strategy to get to grips with this problem,” said Diana Nammi.

“On an unacceptably regular basis we encounter police, teachers, social workers and other professionals who still don’t understand this problem or how they can help victims. Last week an NHS surgery refused to display a poster advertising our services, because staff claimed it would offend men.”

IKWRO argues that a national strategy would help to ensure that all government departments and bodies are aware of the problem and are playing their part in tackling it. Their new campaign, UNITED against ‘honour’ based violence, launched today.

Diana Nammi
0207 920 6464/ 07862 733511

2 minute action: Email the Home Secretary and ask her to get tough on ‘honour’ based violence

 

On 9 February Ministers will meet to sign off on a new action plan to tackle violence against women in the UK. 

We need your help to ensure that this plan tackles ‘honour’ based violence. 

Too often victims of ‘honour’ based violence don’t get the help they need.  Workers in public bodies such as the police, social services and housing authorities need training in how to help women affected by ‘honour’ based violence.  In their new action plan, the government must commit to providing this training.

Please email Home Secretary Theresa May and ask her to ensure that the new action plan on violence against women includes plans to roll out training and increase our government’s leadership in fighting ‘honour’ based violence.

How to do it:

1. Compose an email to mayt@parliament.uk

2. Put Honour based violence and the action plan on violence against women in the subject line, and write Dear Home Secretary at the top of the email.

3. Include the following points:

– Last year police recorded over 200 incidents of ‘honour’ based violence in London alone.  Nationally, ‘honour’ based violence affects hundreds if not thousands of women in the UK.

– According to IKWRO Women’s Rights Organisation, many police, social workers, medical staff and other professionals don’t know how to identify ‘honour’ based violence or how to help victims.

– In your new action plan on violence against women, please include plans to deliver ‘honour’ based violence training and to increase government leadership in this area.

4. Don’t forget to put your name and the town where you live at the bottom of the email

5. Hit SEND.

Thank you for taking this action.

Any questions?  Just email campaigns.ikwro@gmail.com.

IKWRO marks the fifth anniversary of Banaz Mahmod’s death with an email campaign to Home Secretary Theresa May

Banaz Mahmod

Banaz Mahmod

Banaz Mahmod was a 20 year old Iraqi Kurdish woman who was accused of bringing shame on her family after she left a violent marriage and began a new relationship with a man she loved.  She was raped, tortured and strangled to death on 24 January 2006: five years ago today.

You can help us to ensure that this doesn’t happen to other women by sending an email to the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Banaz’s death could have been prevented.  She had told police four times that her father and uncle were planning to kill her.  She even gave them a letter naming the men she believed would carry out her murder, but this did not save her life.

Since Banaz’s murder the police have improved how they deal with honour killing, but there are still many police officers, social workers, medical staff and other professionals who don’t know how to help women like Banaz.  They need training and leadership from our government.

The Home Office is currently writing a new action plan to end violence against women.  We have just learned that the Home Secretary Theresa May is due to sign this off at a meeting on February 9.  Before she does, you can email  her and ask her to make sure the action plan is tough on ‘honour’ based violence.

How to do it:

1. Compose an email to mayt@parliament.uk

2. Put Honour based violence and the action plan on violence against women in the subject line, and write Dear Home Secretary at the top of the email.

3. Include the following points:

– I am writing to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Banaz Mahmod.  Banaz was the victim of a brutal ‘honour’ killing which highlighted police failings in dealing with victims of ‘honour’ based violence.

– I know that since Banaz’s death the national response to ‘honour’ based violence has improved, but more must be done.  According to the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, many police, social workers, medical staff and other professionals still don’t know how to identify ‘honour’ based violence or how to help victims.

– In your new action plan on violence against women, please include plans to deliver ‘honour’ based violence training and to increase government leadership in this area.

4. Don’t forget to put your name and the town where you live at the bottom of the email.

5. Hit SEND.

By taking the time to send this email today, you are taking a stand against the murder of women like Banaz Mahmod.  Thank you for joining us in marking the fifth anniversary of Banaz’s death, and for supporting our campaign.

Any questions?  Just email campaigns.ikwro@gmail.com.

Two more murderers of Banaz Mahmod sentenced to life in prison

Press release, 12 November 2010

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation welcomes the news that the remaining two suspects in the Banaz Mahmod murder trial, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain, have been found guilty at the Old Bailey today. Ali was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years and Hussain to 21 years.

Initially the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments were reluctant to hand Ali and Hussain over to the UK authorities, but they became the first suspects ever extradited to Britain from Iraq after sustained campaigning to bring them to justice by the London-based IKWRO.

Diana Nammi, Director of IKWRO today said:
“Today marks a major step forward in the campaign for Justice for Banaz. We would especially like to thank Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode and all of her team for their hard work in bringing Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain to justice. We would also like to thank all of the individuals and organisations in the UK and in Kurdistan, as well as the UK, Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments, whose efforts enabled this to happen.”

“The extradition and conviction of Ali and Hussain sends out a strong message that there can be no safe havens for those who kill in the name of ‘honour’. We call on all countries to protect women from this brutal practice and to ensure that all those who commit ‘honour’ killing face justice, where ever they are in the world.”

In January 2006 Banaz Mahmod was tortured and strangled, and her body stuffed into a suitcase which was found buried under a Birmingham patio three months later. Before her death Banaz had told police several times that her family were planning to kill her because she had fallen in love with Rahmat Suleimani, a man of whom they did not approve, but police failed to protect her.

“While strongly welcoming the successful prosecution of Ali and Hussain today, it is also important to learn from the failings in this case” said Diana Nammi today.

For further information and comment please contact:
Diana Nammi, 07862 733511

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