On 15 March 2023, Mohammed Taroos Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his niece, Somaiya Begum, in a so-called “honour” killing.

When Somaiya was 16 years old, her father attempted to forcibly marry her to her cousin in a child marriage. Somaiya obtained a Forced Marriage Protection Order and she was removed from her parents’ care. Somaiya’s father and uncle Mohammed Taroos Khan were prohibited from visiting her residence. There was a restraining order on Khan as he had previously threatened his own daughter and put a knife to her throat.

With her new freedom and ambition, Somaiya secured a place at university and was happy, living far away from her father’s oppression and coercive control.

Somaiya’s life was stolen in the name of “honour”. There is no justification for murder. There is NO honour in violence.

What is important is for “honour” based abuse to be properly understood so that opportunities to safeguard victims/ survivors are not missed.

We call for a Domestic Homicide Review into the “honour” killing of Somaiya in order to identify the missed chances for safeguarding her and to learn lessons to prevent any further “honour” killings.

Despite her uncle’s attempt to silence Somaiya, Somaiya will always be remembered as a courageous young woman that stood up for her freedom, a promising young university student, and a hardworking carer for her elderly grandmother.

IKWRO is here to support you if you or anyone that you know is at risk of “honour” based abuse, forced marriage, child marriage, or domestic abuse.

If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 999.

For IKWRO Monday to Friday 9.30 to 5.30 please call 0207 920 6460

For out-of-hours emergencies call:

Kurdish / Arabic/ English: 07846 275246

Farsi / Dari / English: 07846 310157

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