true honour 490x300The winners of IKWRO’s first True Honour Awards – a prize established in memory of all victims of honour killing – were announced during a special ceremony in London.

The first winner is Hanim Goren, the mother of “honour” killing victim Tulay Goren. 15 year old Tulay disappeared in January 1999 after angering her father Mehmet. Hanim Goren suspected that her husband had killed Tulay, but she was too frightened to talk to police because of the risk to her own life.  In 2009 Hanim finally decided to break her silence and give evidence against her husband.  Fully aware that this could lead to serious consequences for herself including death, she not only helped to secure justice for Tulay by sending her husband to prison for life, but she also encouraged other silent witnesses to come forward.  Through the brave example that she has set Hanim Goren has made a monumental contribution to the fight against “honour” based violence.

The second winner of this year’s True Honour Award is Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE. As a partner and head of the Children Department at Dawson Cornwell Solicitors, Anne-Marie has championed the rights of victims of ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage.  Her work in this field began in the 1997 case Re KR, where the court recognised the need to protect victims of forced marriage, despite the lack of any legislation.  Since then she has repatriated over 50 forced marriage victims back to the UK and has prevented the removal of many more.  In 2009 Anne-Marie brought one of the first cases under the new Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act before the High court, and established that English courts could make protection orders in respect of non-British victims who are overseas.

Speaking at the True Honour Awards ceremony on 5 December, IKWRO’s Director Diana Nammi paid tribute to the bravery and hard work of both women, and awarded each of them with a crystal vase.  She also congratulated all of our True Honour Award nominees, every single one of whom has made an outstanding contribution to the fight against ‘honour’ based violence and deserves maximum respect for their work.  The other nominees include:

  • Dr Aisha Gill, Reader in Criminology at the University of Roehampton who has written extensively on the issue of ‘honour’ based violence and provides advice and support to government bodies and women’s organisations.
  • Bekhal Mahmod, sister of ‘honour’ killing victim Banaz Mahmod, who was brave enough to testify at the trial of her sister’s murderers in 2007 and has worked to raise awareness of ‘honour’ killing since then.
  • Brent Hyatt, a Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police who investigated the ‘honour’ killing of Heshu Yunes in 2005 and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness across the police.
  • Caroline Goode, a Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police whose hard work led and determination led to five prosecutions in relation to the ‘honour’ killing of Banaz Mahmod in 2006.
  • Deeyah, a Norwegian singer, film maker and activist of Pakistani and Pashtun origin who has raised awareness of ‘honour’ based violence through her music, films and the memorial website memini.
  • Fleur Gardiner, a Domestic Violence Coordinator who has turned around the response to ‘honour’ based violence on the Isle of Wight by working to improve awareness of the problem and strengthen services for victims.
  • The Gemini project, a unique refuge which provides accomodation to couples who are affected by ‘honour’ based violence, and campaigns to raise awareness of the fact that ‘honour’ based violence can affect couples and men as well as women.
  • Kuljit Lally, a solicitor with Adams Moore Family Law, who has championed the rights of victims of forced marriage and other abuses through legal representation and awareness raising in Milton Keynes and Luton.
  • Navida Ullah, head of the family department at Ashgar and Co Solicitors, who has helped countless women to obtain protection from forced marriage through the courts, and shows great sensitivity and perseverance when working with victims.
  • Rahila Gupta, a writer and journalist, has campaigned extensively for the rights of women from ethnic minorities, including victims of ‘honour’ based violence, and wrote Circle of Light about a Punjabi woman who successfully appealed a conviction for her husband’s murder after suffering 10 years of abuse at his hands.
  • Sara Browne, an immigration solicitor from Luqmani Thompson and partners, who has helped many women who  would be at risk of ‘honour’ killing in their home countries to remain in the UK where they will be safe.
  • Sarah Pepper, Child Protection Coordinator at Islington Children’s Services, who has gone beyond the call of duty to help victims of ‘honour’ based violence and has raised awareness of the issues across Islington.

IKWRO is extremely grateful to our sponsors, Dawson Cornwall the family law firm and 7 Bedford Row barrister chambers, and to everyone who made a nomination, attended the awards ceremony or otherwise supported our first True Honour Awards.

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