23 January 2007

One year ago today, Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha, a young Kurdish woman from Iraq of 20 years old, was murdered. Her body was found buried in the garden of a derelict house belonging to a family member in Birmingham more than three months after the murder after an extensive police search.

Banaz had been forced into marriage over three years ago, but ended this unhappy marriage in divorce, to return to live with her family in Mitcham, North London. Banaz started a new relationship, which it is believed incensed her family to the extent that they murdered her in the name of ‘family honour.’

She approached the police on numerous occasions to ask for protection, but was on each event sent back home, to the family that are now awaiting trial for her murder. Her father and uncle are amongst those awaiting trial next month; 16 of her relatives have been arrested and bailed and two have been sought in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

A petition started by IKWRO to ask police to reassess their procedures in light of this negligence has reached over 1,000 signatures on paper and online and has been supported by a partnership with Karma Nirvana, the Midlands-based orgnisation of minority women’s refuges, headed by Jasvinder Sanghera.

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