Netherlands: 'honor' murder in the popular arts

The issue of murder for the sake of protecting a family's honor seems to be popping up in various 'popular arts' forums around the Netherlands.

A recent episode on "16 miljoen rechters" (16 million judges) featured a case of 'honor' murder. The show is based on real cases and after a short reconstruction, gives time for the audience to debate a question of law and then vote on it.

The original case was of a 16 year old Afghani girl who was strangled by her father on Feb. 15th, 2001 because she had sex before marriage and her boyfriend refused to marry her. The mother of the girl participated in the crime, bringing her daughter to her own mother's house, and staying around during the murder itself. She did not intervene and later went back home with her husband.

The mother was found guilty of being an accessory to murder and sentenced to 7 years in prison, which on appeal was brought down to 6 years.

For the show itself, the family became Iranian, but otherwise the facts stayed the same. The family didn't look very religious on the show though, as I've seen commented on some Muslim sites - the mother wears no veil.

The audience, btw, found the mother guilty by an overwhelming majority (95%).

The topic is also brought up in a new theater production by Theater Vandenbulck in Den Bosch. "Vreemd" (alien, foreign) is a musical play that tells the story of Juul, a girl who'd been murdered for 'honor'. Juul relives her life, going back to her falling in love, being warned and then being killed.

Sources: VARA (Dutch), Rechtspraak (Dutch), Brabants Dagblad (Dutch)

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