Thanks to Feminist Law Professors blog for pointing out this recent series by Robert Fisk about honor killings, in which women (and some men) are killed because they committed sexual misconduct that was perceived to dishonor their families. The killings are performed by Muslims, Christians, and Hindus as well as by families of various ethnic, tribal and cultural backgrounds. Fisk reports: "The details of the murders – of the women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the "honour" of their families – are as barbaric as they are shameful. Many women's groups in the Middle East and South-west Asia suspect the victims are at least four times the United Nations' latest world figure of around 5,000 deaths a year." 20,000 women killed each year.
Most surprising is that the number of such crimes is increasing every year.
Fisk gives names and details. In his words:
These are just a few of the murders, a few names, a small selection of horror stories across the world to prove the pervasive, spreading infection of what must be recognised as a mass crime, a tradition of family savagery that brooks no merciful intervention, no state law, rarely any remorse.
Murdered in 1998 by her in-laws on a trip to the Indian Punjab for daring to seek a divorce from an unhappy marriage
Du'a Khalil Aswad
Aged 17, she was stoned to death in Nineveh, Iraq, by a mob of 2,000 men for falling in love with a man outside her tribe
The Iraqi 17-year-old was stabbed to death by her father two years ago after falling in love with a British soldier in Basra
In 2001 in Karachi, her husband poured acid on her face, after she left him and returned to her mother's home in the red-light district of the city
The 18-year-old was gang-raped by four men in a hut in the Punjab in 2002, while up to 100 men laughed and cheered outside
The 16-year-old was stabbed to death by her Muslim father Abdullah, in west London in 2002, because he disapproved of her Christian boyfriend
The Pakistani village girl, 17, was falsely accused of immorality and had dogs set on her as a punishment before she was shot dead by in-laws
Shawbo Ali Rauf
Aged 19, she was taken by her family to a picnic in Dokan, Iraq, and shot seven times after they had found an unfamiliar number on her phone
The 15-year-old Kurdish girl was killed in north London by her father because the family objected to her choice of husband
Banaz Mahmod Babakir Agha
The 20-year-old's father and uncle murdered her in 2007, after she fell in love with a man her family did not want her to marry
Accused of having sexual relations with another man before she married, her husband slit her lip and nostril with a knife in Pakistan in 2006