Sister Murdered in Berlin

Clara Rigoni explains in the Berliner Morgenpost why so-called “honor killings” are not just a question of religion

August 09, 2021

Recently, two brothers from Afghanistan allegedly killed their sister in Berlin. The motive is said to have been an offended sense of honor. Lawyer Clara Rigoni, who researches honor-based violence at the Max Planck Institute, does not see religion as the sole cause for such murders. A central theme is the desire of the perpetrators to control the woman and her sexuality and it is the feeling of losing this control that results in violence. As Rigoni explains, “The woman, through her behavior, brings a perceived sense of shame on the family. In their eyes, this shame needs to be removed and honor restored.” She also notes that multiple family members are often involved. For example, the more people who know about a divorce and the more rumors that circulate, the greater the risk of murder. The researcher says preventive measures need to be improved and police awareness needs to be raised.

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