'She won't be the last': why not enough has changed since the murder of Banaz Mahmod

As a tv drama of the real-life investigation into the homicide of a tender girl by means of her circle of relatives airs this month, her sister instructed the Mother or father little had modified since Banaz Mahmod used to be killed in 2006.

“Classes have no longer been discovered. Banaz isn’t the primary ‘honour’ killing and she or he received’t be the closing,” says Payzee Mahmod, a British Kurd, who used to be a teen when her sister disappeared from her south London house. Banaz had long past to the police 5 instances for lend a hand.

Mahmod Mahmod



Mahmod Mahmod attending his trial on the Previous Bailey in London in 2007. He used to be later sentenced to lifestyles in jail. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Payzee and her sister had been driven into organized marriages on the ages of 16 and 17, respectively. Payzee now works as a campaigner in opposition to kid marriage, whilst a 3rd sister, Bekhal, stays in hiding after giving proof in opposition to her father on the trial.

“My largest hope is this movie will get started the appropriate dialog. You consider other teams of folks gazing it. You hope they don’t assume: ‘Oh she went to police 5 instances, I’m no longer going.’ You hope the appropriate folks will assume: ‘If ever I’m offered with a case like that, I’ll act temporarily.’ You hope younger individuals who have a trust within the ‘honour’ code would possibly consider how poisonous the ones ideals can also be.”

Honour, the two-part ITV collection stars Keeley Hawes as DCI Caroline Goode, the detective who used to be appalled that her colleagues had ignored a couple of probabilities to save lots of Banaz’s lifestyles and labored to convey the 5 males convicted of the killing to justice. Banaz, 20, used to be raped and murdered after leaving an allegedly abusive marriage and falling in love with any other guy. Within the eyes of her circle of relatives, her movements introduced disgrace on them, so her father and uncle and different kinfolk plotted to homicide her to revive their “honour”.

Payzee, to begin with sceptical of the display on account of its focal point on Goode relatively than her sister, now welcomes it after gazing it closing week. She says it displays each the “unpleasant” aspect of the police within the disbelief Banaz confronted from officials when she printed her father had attempted to kill her, in addition to Goode’s “wonderful” investigation.

“It’s a surreal feeling to look at your circle of relatives. It used to be very emotional, like reliving the trauma. It’s so very tragic for me what took place to Banaz. The quantity of screw ups; it’s devastating to listen to.”

Of the specifically tragic sides of the case, one that stands proud is that the proof that finally ended in the prosecution of the lads concerned got here from Banaz herself.

“What she passed to the police when she used to be alive in point of fact turned into its basis. She gave an inventory of the names of the 5 males she stated had been following her, abusing her, stalking her.”

The cast of Honour: Keeley Hawes as Caroline Goode, Buket Komur as Banaz Mahmod, Rhianne Barreto as Bekhal Mahmod and Moe Bar-El as Rahmat Sulemani.



The forged of Honour: Keeley Hawes as Caroline Goode, Buket Komur as Banaz Mahmod, Rhianne Barreto as Bekhal Mahmod and Moe Bar-El as Rahmat Sulemani. Photograph: ITV/PA

However she used to be no longer given coverage. One officer disregarded her as manipulative and melodramatic.

“It’s been one of the crucial painful info to are living with. To assume she wrote those names down and took them to the police. She screamed from the highest of her lungs, however she used to be no longer heard, no longer noticed. This used to be very arduous to look at.”

It wasn’t till Banaz’s boyfriend, Rahmat Sulemani, reported her lacking that police started to analyze. Sulemani took his personal lifestyles in 2016.

DCI Goode, with out proof or a frame, used tactics extra usually present in organised crime circumstances, similar to recording calls made by means of the suspects, two of whom had fled to Iraq. Goode ultimately tracked down the frame of the 20-year-old, which have been installed a suitcase and buried within the lawn of a derelict space in Birmingham.

In 2012, Goode took section within the award-winning documentary Banaz: A Love Tale by means of film-maker Deeyah Khan. She stated on the time: “It used to be an absolute outrage that this lady used to be lacking and no one cared.”

Payzee says Goode’s decision used to be inspirational. “She stated we received’t forestall till we do what is correct for Banaz. There have been a large number of setbacks within the case. However she endured running and wading via.”

The telling of Banaz’s tale has come at a unfortunately becoming time, too. Fourteen years after Banaz used to be killed, the Covid disaster has brought on a “shadow pandemic” of home violence in opposition to girls making the wish to inform the storygreater than ever, says Payzee.

“It articulates the desire for this dialog, about ‘honour’-based crimes rather well. It used to be emphasized that this factor does occur proper there in the United Kingdom.”

Deeyah Khan and Caroline Goode



The film-maker Deeyah Khan with Caroline Goode on the BBC whilst running on a documentary about Banaz Mahmod’s homicide. Photograph: Courtesy of Deeyah Khan

An estimated five,000 “honour killings” occur annually international, in step with the UN, with an estimated 12-15 in Britain.

Banaz’s demise and subsequence complaint of the justice device sparked adjustments, together with the creation of particular prosecutors to maintain honour crimes and a device of chance exams for home abuse, stalking and honour-based violence (Sprint) to beef up police reaction.

Then again, a 2015 file by means of the police watchdog, HMIP, on “honour”-based violence, pressured marriage and feminine genital mutilation, discovered handiest 3 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales had been adequately ready to reply to the wishes of sufferers and take circumstances via to prosecution.

A up to date research of CPS knowledge by means of the sufferer strengthen charity Karma Nirvana displays a 50% drop in prosecutions of circumstances flagged as “honour”-based abuse (HBA) from 200 in 2012-13 to 100 in 2018-19. Prosecutions have additionally dropped from 206 to 127 in the similar period of time.

Sufferer strengthen teams, together with the Iraqi and Kurdish Ladies’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) which ran a Justice for Banaz marketing campaign after her disappearance, say that, in spite of certain adjustments, there’s no systematic figuring out of such crimes throughout forces, social services and products and faculties.

In Banaz’s case, Goode discovered 50 males connected to the homicide, from pledging allegiance to the suspects or giving false alibis.

Payzee Mahmod in 2015.



Payzee Mahmod in 2015. Photograph: Wayne Tippetts/Rex/Shutterstock

“I accept as true with those that say no longer sufficient has modified,” says Payzee. Final 12 months, as she ready to offer a Ted communicate in opposition to kid marriage, she approached the police for defense as she used to be fearful of repercussions from her Iraqi Kurdish neighborhood. After explaining what took place to her sister and giving main points of “honour”-based abuse, she used to be instructed: “Glance, it’s almost certainly no longer what you need to listen to, however there’s no longer a lot we will be able to do. If any person threatens you, name 999.”

“I’m fortunate I used to be involved with the police, on account of my case. I needed to transfer out of the neighborhood.

“What number of women would be capable to get a follow-up with police? Different women display up and don’t get lend a hand and we all know what occurs to them. I felt like I used to be strolling in my sister’s footwear. I do assume it will occur once more.”

“Social services and products had been in me and my sisters’ lives 20 years in the past. This must be a part of our faculty schooling.”

Payzee, who to begin with labored within the style business, switched to running for IKRWO this 12 months.

“I really like style it’s a large a part of my id. However I believe that is my calling, it’s my objective. If I’m silent in this factor, I’m failing my sister, I’m failing such a lot of different girls.

“She used to be the nicest particular person it’s worthwhile to ever meet. She used to be so worrying and giving. She at all times put others first and it doesn’t matter what went flawed in our circle of relatives she used to be prepared to look the great in any person.”

The Nationwide Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for “honour”-based violence, Commander Ivan Balhatchet, stated the NPCC helps charity’s requires a recent inspection by means of the police watchdog, now known as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fireplace and Rescue Products and services (HMICFRS), in addition to for nationwide steering and police coaching toolkits to spot and prosecute perpetrators of “honour”-based abuse.

“Making sure that there’s a chance overview device in position, and workforce and officials are educated and conscious about the indicators of honour-based abuse is important in figuring out and tackling it successfully,” he stated. “This stays a concern and we’ll proceed to paintings carefully with companions, stakeholders and 3rd sector organisations to beef up the policing reaction.”

He steered the ones with considerations about honour-based violence to touch the police and stated: “You’re going to be taken significantly and the police will do the entirety in our energy to give protection to you from hurt.”

Honour shall be proven on ITV on 28 and 29 September.

If you’re in the United Kingdom and are in peril or are involved for any person this is, you’ll be able to touch Karma Nirvana confidentially on 0800 5999 247 or move to its web page.

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