As described in Teen Buried Alive for Chatting with Boys (Change.org 2/05/10), sixteen year old Medine Memi was murdered by her father and grandfather in Kahta, Turkey. She was buried alive as punishment for the "crime" of having been seen talking to boys. An autopsy found soil in her stomach and lungs and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood, which indicate that she was alive and fully conscious when buried.
According to official statistics, there are over 200 "honor" killings in Turkey per year, almost half of all the murders take place. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year for allegedly dishonoring their families, probably an under-estimate, since "honor" killings are often reported as suicides or accidents. The victims are mostly teenage girls or young adults "guilty" of such "crimes" as being alone with a non-family member of the opposite sex, not covering herself appropriately, or being the victim of a rape. The victim is generally burned alive, stoned, beaten to death, cut at the throat, decapitated, stabbed, or suffocated. The murder is generally carried out by a male relative (father, brothers, cousins, or grandfather), but female relatives (mothers and sisters) often take part in the decision to execute the victim, and sometimes even participate.
While most common in Muslim countries and communities, "honor" killings are to a lesser extent also perpetrated in Hindu, Sikh, and some non-Muslim African communities. The practice predates Islam and has been condemned by many political and religious leaders in Islamic countries, but its disproportionate continuation indicates that political and religious leaders have not done enough to educate communities on the unacceptability of "honor" killings, and that the legal system in those countries does not adequately deter "honor killing" crimes.
"Honor killings" are a despicable tradition justified and justifiable by no religion. Please sign this petition to join in condemning this heinous practice, and ask political and religious leaders worldwide to undertake more effective measures to eliminate it.
For more information, links, and a protest poem on "honor" killings, please see http://newsericks.com/heinous.
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