metaspective: A sad but true story    
 A sad but true story17 comments
picture30 Sep 2003 @ 05:55, by Dave da Shaman

Kurd who slit daughter's throat in 'honour killing' is jailed for life
Muslim father of girl, 16, who had relationship outside her religion, subjected her to months of beatings before stabbing her repeatedly

Vikram Dodd
Tuesday September 30, 2003
The Guardian

A 47-year-old Kurdish father who slit his teenage daughter's throat after she started dating a man from outside her own culture was yesterday jailed for life.

Police said the murder of Heshu Yones, 16, was an honour killing. Her father, Abdalla Yones, subjected her to months of beatings before stabbing her 17 times because he feared Heshu was too westernised.

The teenager had been planning to run away from home. In a note to her father she tried to cope with her ordeal by joking about the beatings he meted out to her: "Hey, for an older man you have a good strong punch and kick."

Yones, an Iraqi Kurd who gained indefinite leave to remain in Britain after opposing the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, begged an Old Bailey judge to order his execution.

Yones, a Muslim, had become "disgusted and distressed" by his daughter's relationship with an 18-year-old Lebanese Christian A-level student.

In October last year Heshu barricaded herself in the bathroom of the family home in west London. The father broke down the door and stabbed his daughter repeatedly, before slitting her throat and leaving her bleeding in the bath.

Then Yones attempted suicide by cutting his throat and throwing himself off a third floor balcony.

He was in hospital for several months and claimed that al-Qaida had broken into the family flat and murdered his daughter.

Heshu was described as a "bubbly" and "fun loving girl" in court. The jury was read a farewell letter the teenager wrote to her father as she planned to run away.

In it she apologised for having been a problem, promised to pay back any money she owed him and asked him not to worry about her.

The letter read: "Bye Dad, sorry I was so much trouble.

"Me and you will probably never understand each other, but I'm sorry I wasn't what you wanted, but there's some things you can't change.

"Hey, for an older man you have a good strong punch and kick.

"I hope you enjoyed testing your strength on me, it was fun being on the receiving end. Well done.

"One day when I have got a proper job, every penny I owe you will be repaid in full.

"I'm sure in saying I will be safe. I will find a way to independently look after myself.

"I will go to social security and get myself a flat or hostel. I will be okay.

"Don't look for me because I don't know where I'm going yet, I just want to be alone."

The court heard her grades had begun to slip. To limit any offence to her father, Heshu would wait until reaching college to put on make-up.

Yones never adapted to life in Britain and the cultural tensions it placed on his family; he wanted his daughter to observe his interpretation of strict tradition, but she wanted a more liberal life.

Yones was described as "a fish out of water" and became depressed, but his children thrived and Heshu studied at the William Morris Academy in Fulham, south-west London.

Sentencing Yones, who pleaded guilty, to life imprisonment, Judge Neil Denison said the Kurd was still suicidal: "This is, on any view, a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differ ences between traditional Kurdish values and the values of western society."

Icah Peart QC, defending Yones, said that before the murder his client had received a letter, written in Kurdish, describing his daughter as a slut who was sleeping with her boyfriend on a daily basis.

"He was disgusted and distressed by the letter, which he threw away in his anger," said Mr Peart.

"He did not want to believe what he had read although he suspected there might be some truth in it. He could not stop brooding on the content of the letter."

Scotland Yard yesterday said there had been 12 "honour killings" across different communities in the last year in Britain.

Police define an honour killing as a murder motivated by perceived dishonour to a family or community and stress that it is not limited to Islamic communities. There have been examples of Sikh and Christian honour killings.

Commander Andy Baker said Heshu had suffered "very significant physical abuse" in the months leading up to the killing, but it was never reported to police.

The issue of honour killings is being researched by the Metropolitan police racial and violent crimes task force and Mr Baker said many communities were helping police understand the practice.

"We've got to stop it, we can prevent these murders," he said, adding that a handful of people still believed it was an appropriate cultural response.

People who had tried to protect Yones could be investigated on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, he said.

"We are completely satisfied that some members of the community, or his friends, tried to assist him in that cover-up," said Mr Baker.

Sawsan Salim, coordinator of the Kurdistan Refugees Women's Organisation, said most Kurds condemned honour killings. The group has campaigned against murders and domestic violence against women.

"No one has the right to kill women under any name, whether it is God or culture," Ms Salim said. "No excuse should be given for such a brutal tragedy."

Aisha Gill, a lecturer in criminology at the University of Surrey, said there were examples where men accused of honour killings had used a "cultural defence" argument.

"What is important to emphasise here is that cultural rights cannot override women's right to life," she wrote in a recent edition of Police Review.


Police in UK claim that at least a dozen women and girls are murdered for this reason in this country annually.

Sue and I feel that gender issues are too important to ignore, and we think that NCN needs to do more in this area.

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30 Sep 2003 @ 06:02 by spiritseek : Your right Dave...
this needs to be stopped. Anything and everything depends on it, a murder is a murder no matter the reasons for it!
It's hard for somebody outside these cultures to imagine thinking like that.  

30 Sep 2003 @ 07:47 by shawa : :-)
"...and we think that NCN needs to do more in this area."

...Certainly. Maybe you should just open the space, and engage the people interested enough into a dialogue through a Newslog, for ex. Either do it through the comments function of the Newslog, (which can become quite lively) or in a private workgroup.
The Newslog is more easily reachable; it will be seen, at least.
I´ve opened and closed many workgroup spaces, if you need help, just yell! :-)
thanks for the comments and offer of help. I don't mean to criticise NCN, as much as point out areas I think are important, but do not seem to be tackled explicitly. So I'll try to develop a focus/forum on gender issues and stimulate some discussion.  

30 Sep 2003 @ 13:55 by ovular : over 100 women killed in UK last year...
This is a tragedy for the whole family involved, obviously the dead girl and all her family, to be driven to such terrible deeds by barbaric and outdated
ideas. How can a female life be worth so little?

Women are devalued in almost every walk of life all over the world and suffer violence and abuse hourly.

If we are going to build a new civilisation, then perhaps we ought to think about how we can bring about true equality.

As a species, I think that we need to learn how to value every person exactly the same, and we are a long way from that yet.
I personally don't think that "spiritual growth" is possible for a favoured few in the prosperous areas of the world, while billions have impoverished lives. And women are the most oppressed of all.  

30 Sep 2003 @ 13:59 by vibrani : Yes
I've been writing about this, posting items, and calling attention to this on my site and at NCN for years! Hello! Somebody, namely me, has been doing this - and I have to ask, where were you all for the past eight years of my posting this stuff? Well, maybe now you'll pay attention and do something to stop these crimes.{}
These crimes go on in many nations every day and little is done to stop them but there is support. We have to demand that the UN and UNICEF also participate and stop abuse and killing of women and children, whether it be due to honor killings or female genital mutilation or recruiting Palestinian kids to blow themselves up while committing mass murder.

Too bad this girl in the story you posted joked about her abuse and told her father her plans and did not seek outside help.

Ed. that's what I mean about the strength of the ideology. Our culture, all cultures as far as I can see, are steeped in paternalist and sexist ideology and attitudes. Scratch most peoples surfaces and these "traditional" ideas abound. They are reinforced by the media and religions and creeds as you say. It's all about power and control, again as you say. It's perhaps the biggest battle.

Absolutely, and it goes strongly in line with a post I made today from Torah on the zealot versus the creator. For the past several years one of the things I've tried to do is bring the awareness of what's going on in mainly Islamic cultures (although they aren't the only ones responsible for abuse against women and children) and help empower women to change first themselves and then hopefully their cultures in a way that can benefit all people without needing to harm. The world has also become more aware of these things through the media, and the war in Afghanistan. However, it is very hard to change the mind of zealots as their beliefs are so strong and never fully satisfying, either - and I think that is what we really must face and find a peaceful way to do this. One of the great things that changed in Afghanistan is that women went back to school and started new careers, like in computer technology. This gives them a sense of self worth, they contribute to their families and societies, and also brings change (which some are still trying to fight). I think the fear of change is key. --- Vibrani
Ed. sadly, we read that now the USA administration isn't much interested in Afghanistan, the situation is worse than under tha Taliban. They were harsh and oppressed the women. The warlords, backed by USA/CIA money are far worse. Boys, girls and women are raped and there is a total lack of law and order. All too similar to the situation in Iraq. It seems as if the US government only cares about these people for a while, while the media spotlight is on, and until they have outlived their uses.  

30 Sep 2003 @ 15:21 by repsyche : thanks
for the impressive but upsetting links, some of which we knew of and others we had not.
I didn't mean to criticise yours or anybody else's contribution, it was meant as more of a rallying call. It takes a lot of work to explore the range of opinions and articles in NCN. I'm trying to get to know people and their interests, I don't know about the last eight years-please tell more?
I fully agree with you about lack of so-called spiritual development.

While ideas, histories, traditions, books and words are considered more important than human life, then these things will happen. I think, as you say, we have to think together how to stop this insane state of affairs as quickly as possible.
Any males want to contribute to this most important debate?  

6 Oct 2003 @ 16:17 by scotty : years ago in the 70's
I worked in a hospital where there was a young Indian man - a surgeon - a very gifted talented intelligent open caring modern young man - and yet !
At thirty five years old he was called 'home' - his parents had decided that it was time for him to be 'serious' and take a wife - she had already been chosen for him - our friend went to India for his holidays - he returned six weeks later with his new wife - he was actually as appalled as we were but he felt trapped... family customs - it was an obligation... sometimes the guy is just as much victim as the girl... we must do something to change all this - we can too if we care enough!
ED. yes Scotty, I know of a similar case. My sister's mate lived with an Indian guy who was kidnapped by his family. She never saw him again.  

7 Oct 2003 @ 17:48 by scotty : jeeze ! Isn't it frightening !
make one wonder what 'age' we're living in ! Poor guy ! It's unbelievable !
That too is part of the problem - it IS unbelievable - it's inconcievable !
We are so busy getting on with out lives that we just don't see what's happening around us - so when someone does point it out .. well - it's just too incredible ! This inability to 'see' things actually protects the bad guys !
Got to find a way to open eyes - to switch the light on !  

18 Oct 2003 @ 16:09 by bri_outten : What a loss
To me the event was extremely sad.
How wrong this person was
he is bolstered by the delusions that infect that 'ideological narrow-mindedness' of many of the culture.
It hit me hard and I hope we can learn how to avoid these evils happening in the future.
I never knew the girl, but I will, no doubt come into contact with her brother. I dont really want to go any further into it for confidential reasons  

19 Sep 2005 @ 22:56 by kara @ : i don't hav a website

21 Nov 2005 @ 05:26 by renu @ : harsh...

i'm just shoked to hear about a father cutting his own daughters throat,i think he should never get out of jail or be electricuted.


20 Mar 2006 @ 03:20 by Won't say @ : disgusting
The way I see it, don't move to a different civilization if certain people want to stick to traditions. This event is a total abomination to the entire human race. This absloutely disgusts me. Electricution is the easy way out for this man. A proper punishment will be delivered by god.  

23 Jun 2006 @ 14:50 by Voranica @ : REtarted
hi i think it is retarted to kill somebody and even if u dont like them deal with it u dont have to take there live god those people r retarted

17 Nov 2006 @ 17:54 by Moustafa Mohsin @ : This is completely wrong!
I am from Iraq, except from the middle of it, I know all about the Kurd's, they are made fun of in my country for being retarded, not mentaly but in a cultural way. They DO NOT represent muslim acts incase you people think we muslims do "honor killing". This is just a bad influence on muslims, and just a reminder we are kind of strict in some ways but we do not FORCE or KILL just to accomplish what is there. That stupid Yones is nothing but a Lunatic and an ass hole!!!!  

29 Nov 2006 @ 22:02 by andrea @ : ---wrong!---
It's good that her father was put in jail she is 16 she doesn't need the abuse.But the sad thing is abuse is still happening all over the world and if you ask me i think it needs to be stopped. teens should have the right to freedom  

4 Jan 2008 @ 07:58 by sarah @ : leaving
i read this artical and im so scared, i am from a lebanese home and am not allowed to have a boyfriend and can only marry a lebanese boy. im 19 years old i work and get none of my money which i earn.. i am planning on running away and am very scared... and nobody does understand or now how it feels to be in our shoes..  

4 Jan 2008 @ 12:48 by mortimer : cool connection
Vision Council at the Australian National Rainbow Gathering at Washpool came to consensus:


21 Mar 2008 @ 19:27 by danielle @ : what happen
that is so sad how she get in jail?please anwser my question that would be nice  

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