Monday, November 15, 2010

Two more murderers of Banaz Mahmod face justice

IKWRO - Press Release

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation welcomes the news that the remaining two suspects in the Banaz Mahmod murder trial, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain, have been found guilty at the Old Bailey today. Ali was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years and Hussain to 21 years.

Initially the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments were reluctant to hand Ali and Hussain over to the UK authorities, but they became the first suspects ever extradited to Britain from Iraq after sustained campaigning to bring them to justice by the London based Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO).

Diana Nammi, Director of IKWRO today said:

“Today marks a major step forward in the campaign for Justice for Banaz. We would especially like to thank Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode and all of her team for their hard work in bringing Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain to justice. We would also like to thank all of the individuals and organisations in the UK and in Kurdistan whose enormous support enabled this to happen.”

“The extradition and conviction of Ali and Hussain sends out a strong message that there can be no safe havens for those who kill in the name of ‘honour’. We call on all countries to protect women from this brutal practice and to ensure that all those who commit ‘honour’ killing face justice, where ever they are in the world.”

In January 2006 Banaz Mahmod was tortured and strangled, and her body stuffed into a suitcase which was found buried under a Birmingham patio three months later. Before her death Banaz had told police several times that her family were planning to kill her because she had fallen in love with Rahmat Suleimani, a man of whom they did not approve, but police failed to protect her.

“IKWRO was unable to make a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner because the rules only permit victims’ families to do so. IKWRO has called for a change in the rules so that in honour killing cases, where the family is responsible for the murder, organisations like IKWRO will be able to make complaints in the public interest” said Diana Nammi today.

“While strongly welcoming the successful prosecution of Ali and Hussain today, it is also important to learn from the failings in this case.”

For further information and comment please contact:

Diana Nammi, 07862 733511
Tel: 0207 920 6460
Fax: 0207 920 6495

Firmesk Abdullahi
Finance & Administration
Iranian & Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation