The Muslim parents who murdered their teenage daughter in an ‘honour killing’ because she was having sex with a man they disapproved of are jailed for life in Germany.
The Khan parents, originally from Pakistan, planned to arrange a marriage for Lareeb, a dental technician who, unlike her mother and father, spoke perfect German and was totally assimilated into society.
In January, police sent a letter to Lareeb’s mother and father saying she had been caught trying to shoplift condoms but that she was let off with a warning.
Afterwards, her father and strangled Lareeb while she was sleeping — and while her mother looked on. Both then dressed dead daughter in her clothes, placed her in the wheelchair used by Lareeb’s grandmother and drove the body to a secluded embankment. They dumped the body there and planned to tell people she’d run away.
Mother Shazia told police that she did not try to save her daughter for fear of her husband, but the court heard that she was just as fanatical.
Shockingly, Khan was very upfront with police about what he’d done:
“My daughter could not defend herself because one arm was pinned under the mattress and she could not speak because I was applying so much pressure. I noticed that after five minutes she was dead but I continued to press.”
Judge Wagner heard the father take all the guilt for the crime, that his wife did not have the strength to resist him. Axel Kollbach, her lawyer, even asked that she only be sentenced for help in disposing of the body, not murder, and to take into account the “cultural background” to the crime.
But Judge Wagner was having none of it, stating:
“You feared being shunned by the community if it got out that your daughter had slept with her boyfriend. It was worth killing your daughter for. A woman cannot be so physically weak that she doesn’t intervene in the murder of her own daughter and instead watches it for five minutes. You lived in two cultural worlds. It is not the case that you may not be allowed to live in your own culture. But you must also deal with our values.”
The judge added that both parents had the choice of disowning their daughter instead of murdering her.
Lareeb’s younger sister Neda, 14, condemned her mother in court, saying she was the effective head of the family and that Lareeb actually got on better with her killer father than her mother.
Her father’s last words to the court on Tuesday before he was led away to begin his sentence were spoken through an interpreter. “I would undo it all if I could,” he said. “I accept any punishment.”
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