What You Should Know about The Honor Killing Of Ghazala Kahn

A Danish woman by the name of Ghazala Khan born on 29 October 1986 and died on the 23 September 2005 was killed by one of her brother’s in Denmark because she had made the decision to marry against the wishes of her family. This murder was first ordered by Ghazala’s father in order to save their family honour, which made this arrangement a so-called Honour Killing.

The Background

Three years before the murder, Ghazala was already involved in an “intimate” relationship with Emal Khan, before they were married. Ghazala at the time feared the reaction of her family and made an intention that she would like to keep their relationship a secret. She later revealed these feelings to her mom. She became outraged and reacted by beating her along with Akhtar Abbas her older sibling, who was the same person who would go onto shoot her.

Emal Khan reported that after this incident, they locked Ghazala in their home and she was “isolated” from her other family members, all of these family members refused to eat with her or speak to her. On the 5th September in 2005, Ghazala escaped and went to live with her future husband Emal. Up until the day of her murder the couple lived with a number of friends all over Denmark. They went to the police several times asking for protection. Unfortunately the pleas for help were denied. Later on the 21 September, Ghazala and Emal were married in Middelfart a small Danish town at the Registry Office.

About The Attack

Only 2 days after they were married, her family pretended that they would like to meet with the couple for reconciliation. They convinced the newlyweds to meet them at a railway-station in the area of Slagelse. This was the location that Akhtar Abbas shot Emal and Ghazala Khan. Ghazala was instantly killed, while Emal sustained 2 shots to his abdomen. He survived the gunshot wounds after a long operation.

Court Proceedings

On 15th May 2006, a case against all the people that were involved in this murder began. A total of nine individuals were put on trial. There were never any doubts that the brother was convicted for murder, as he was the person that used a gun on her, which was proven from surveillance pictures taken from the nearby railway-station.

Cases brought forward against the other family members which included Ghazalas aunt, other brother and father were a lot more controversial as it was more complex to prove their involvement. However, all 9 were convicted for the murder of Ghazala khan and received harsh sentences in regards to the Danish standard.

In Denmark, the sentencing can include anything from 5 to 16 years in a prison or prison-for-life when you are found to be guilty in association to murder. The man who shot Ghazala received a 16 year prison sentence while her father received a life sentence in prison. The aunt who was believed to lure the couple to Slagelse and was the same person to reveal to the other family members where Ghazala was received a 14 year prison sentence. The remainder of accused, which are all relatives or friends of the family, all received sentences in prison ranging from 8 to 16 years.