Honor Killings Come to Sweden

As the daughter of Kurdish refugees from Turkey, 26-year-old Fadime Sahindal had to balance the traditional beliefs of her family with the ideas she was exposed to in Sweden. After four years of harassment from family members who were angry that she dated a white Swedish boy and was pursuing higher education, her father shot her execution style as she was preparing to leave on a trip to Kenya.

Several years ago, Sahindal was in the news in Sweden over her boyfriend. After her father ordered her to stop seeing the boy, Sahindal’s father and 17-year-old brother threatened to kill her. Sahindal went to court seeking protection, and her father received a fine and a suspended sentence.

Sahindal had been living in Sweden under an assumed name, but her father managed to track her down. Sahindal had gone to her sister’s house to say goodbye before her trip to Kenya, where her father shot her dead.

According to The Daily Telegraph, spokesmen for the Kurdish community in Sweden were “generally understanding of a patriarch’s dilemma in dealing with changing family values in a liberal country.”

The Telegraph quoted Kamaran Shwan, chairman of the Kurdish association in the town of Malmo as saying, “If a girl goes out with a boy without being married then she’s a whore.”


Protests over father’s ‘execution’ of daughter. Julian Isherwood, The Daily Telegraph (UK), January 29, 2002.

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