IKWRO marks the fifth anniversary of Banaz Mahmod’s death with an email campaign to Home Secretary Theresa May

24Jan11

Banaz Mahmod was a 20 year old Iraqi Kurdish woman who was accused of bringing shame on her family after she left a violent marriage and began a new relationship with a man she loved.  She was raped, tortured and strangled to death on 24 January 2006: five years ago today.

You can help us to ensure that this doesn’t happen to other women by sending an email to the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Banaz’s death could have been prevented.  She had told police four times that her father and uncle were planning to kill her.  She even gave them a letter naming the men she believed would carry out her murder, but this did not save her life.

Since Banaz’s murder the police have improved how they deal with honour killing, but there are still many police officers, social workers, medical staff and other professionals who don’t know how to help women like Banaz.  They need training and leadership from our government.

The Home Office is currently writing a new action plan to end violence against women.  We have just learned that the Home Secretary Theresa May is due to sign this off at a meeting on February 9.  Before she does, you can email  her and ask her to make sure the action plan is tough on ‘honour’ based violence. 

How to do it:

1. Compose an email to mayt@parliament.uk

2. Put Honour based violence and the action plan on violence against women in the subject line, and write Dear Home Secretary at the top of the email.

3. Include the following points:

– I am writing to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Banaz Mahmod.  Banaz was the victim of a brutal ‘honour’ killing which highlighted police failings in dealing with victims of ‘honour’ based violence.

– I know that since Banaz’s death the national response to ‘honour’ based violence has improved, but more must be done.  According to the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, many police, social workers, medical staff and other professionals still don’t know how to identify ‘honour’ based violence or how to help victims.

– In your new action plan on violence against women, please include plans to deliver ‘honour’ based violence training and to increase government leadership in this area.

4. Don’t forget to put your name and the town where you live at the bottom of the email.

5. Hit SEND.

By taking the time to send this email today, you are taking a stand against the murder of women like Banaz Mahmod.  Thank you for joining us in marking the fifth anniversary of Banaz’s death, and for supporting our campaign.

Our blog has now moved onto our main website.  Check it out here, and find IKWRO on twitter and facebook

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