Family Sentenced for ‘Honor Killing’ of Woman

In Denmark, nine people were sentenced to prison this week for the “honor killing” of 18-year-old Ghazala Khan. Those sentenced included Khan’s older brother, her father, three uncles, an aunt, and a family friend. Khan’s Pakistani family plotted the murder in response to their disapproval of her choice of husband.

In September of 2005, two days after her wedding to her long-time boyfriend, Khan was shot and killed in front of a train station by her older brother, Akthar Abbas. Her husband, Emal Khan, was shot twice in the stomach but survived and is now under police protection.

On Wednesday Khan’s father was found guilty of planning the killing of his daughter and sentenced to life imprisonment, reports the Associated Press. Her brother and two uncles were each sentenced to 16 years in jail. The five other family members and friend were sentenced to eight to 14 years in prison, reports BBC News.

Experts say this is the first time in Western Europe that a group of people, not just the perpetrator, were sentenced for a so-called honor crime, reports Reuters. This case is expected to set a precedent in other countries and to have a preventive effect, according to The Copenhagen Post.


Reuters 6/27/06, 6/28/06; The Copenhagen Post 6/28/06; Associated Press 6/28/06; Daily Times 6/28/06, 6/29/06; BBC 6/29/06

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