Sunday, June 17, 2007

'...deaths before dishonour'

The Telegraph has a feature article about "honor killings" arising from forced marriages in Britain, and the government's attempts to come to grips with the problem. While the Home Office estimates there are around 12 such killings each year, the article suggests the actual number is much higher, and points out that law enforcement in Britain is even forming a special unit deal with the problem.
A Sunday Telegraph investigation has established that honour killings are increasing rapidly in Britain.

Home Office statistics suggest that there are 12 such murders each year. However, according to research, the true figure is much higher. At a conference in Southampton last week, police chiefs revealed that they are re-examining 2,000 deaths and-murders between 1996 and 2006 to establish whether they involve honour killings. So far, 19 have now been found to be honour killings. A further 20 involved some element of "honour violence".

The string of deaths is likely to include some that were previously deemed suicides but have been found to be forced suicides and murder disguised as suicide.

To combat the escalating crime, dedicated teams of senior prosecutors will be deployed in Britain's honour killing hot spots this month in an effort to boost conviction rates and give victims more protection. At first, a pilot scheme involving 20 policemen will concentrate on four hot spots - London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Lancashire.
The article is pretty frank in discussing the problem, and goes so far as to quote a police officer's complaint about the contribution of political correctness to the problem:
"We started to learn lessons," he said, "and then stopped learning them as a result of political correctness."
And yet, at no time in the article are the "M" or "I" words used.

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