Excerpt:

What drives families to commit 'honor killings?' Who are the killers and where do they come from? A new study commissioned by the German police has found that the killers are almost always first-generation immigrants from poor backgrounds, that cases aren't increasing and that courts are making mistakes in their handling of them.

In March 2009, 20-year-old Gülsüm S. was killed by her father and her brother. The men hit her in the face with branches and pieces of wood in an assault so brutal that it was difficult to identify her body. The Kurdish woman had to die because she was no longer a virgin. Because she had had an abortion. Because the family felt dishonored by her actions.

In 2005, Hatan Sürücu was killed with several shots to the head -- fired by her brother.

Who are the killers? Why do they kill? How does the German justice system punish them?


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