In memory of Fawziyah Javed, whose life was stolen in an “honour” killing in 2021

Fawziyah Javed was a 31-year-old British lawyer from Leeds who was 17 weeks pregnant. She was beloved by her family. Fawziyah’s husband was convicted of her murder, by pushing her off Arthur’s seat, a rocky peak in Edinburgh, Scotland in September 2021. Her devastated family had to identify her body on her birthday.

The murder trial was covered in the Channel 4 documentary, The Push. It details how Fawziyah was subjected to “honour” based abuse, domestic abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour by her husband, who she had married earlier that year. He controlled what she wore, blocked members of her family on her mobile phone, and logged onto her online bank account to steal thousands of pounds from her. In the documentary, it is explained that the dynamics of “honour” based abuse and shame added difficulty for Fawziyah to get help. 

In phone calls aired in the trial, Fawziyah asks her husband, “do I not have a say in how I want my life with you?”. He answers “no you can’t, with what? Because you are married now”. She says “but can I not have a say, can I not have an opinion?” and he replies “you are not a man; start behaving like a woman. Don’t be that British woman. I am telling you now it’s not going to work” and “if you end this [marriage] I will ruin yours [life].”It was noted by the judge that after the murder, her husband did not show remorse, which is a feature of “honour” killing perpetrators. 

Fawziyah was very close to her mother, Yasmin, who had encouraged her to leave her husband and had supported her in contacting the police to report the abuse. Fawziya was very concerned that her husband would find out and decided not to press charges for the abuse saying she “would like it logged, in case something happened in the future”. Yasmin bravely gave evidence in the trial. She is captured in the documentary being threatened by Fawziyah’s husband’s supporters. She is now campaigning to raise awareness of domestic abuse and “honour” based abuse as she does not want any other mother to face the pain that she is going through. She said, “Fawziyah was our life, our everything.”

Diana Nammi, Executive Director of IKWRO – Women’s Rights says:

“Fawziyah was a bright, caring woman whose life, along with the life of her unborn child, have been stolen. I welcome the guilty verdict of the perpetrator, who I believe murdered her in an “honour” killing, perceiving that he would be shamed because she wanted to leave him. There is no honour in murder or abuse. Whilst justice was done in the trial, nothing can take away from the heartbreak of Fawziyah’s family and loved ones. My heart goes out to them and especially Fawziyah’s mother Yasmin, who has so bravely spoken out for her daughter and to help prevent any other mother from losing their daughter to “honour” killing. It is vital that if you, or if anyone you know is facing abuse, you know that you are not alone. Please reach out for help.” 

If you or anyone you know is experiencing “honour” based abuse or domestic abuse, you are not alone. Contact IKWRO on 0207 920 6460 or call 999 in an emergency. 

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