A Muslim girl whose only offense was to disdain her father’s choice of suitable mate — and who instead picked her own boyfriend — paid the ultimate price when she was killed by members of her own family.
But the killing didn’t occur right away.
Banaz Mahmod, 20, was raped, tortured and garotted in a two hour ordeal at her parents home in London before she was buried in a suitcase in the back garden
She chose a boyfriend outside of her family’s strict regime, and paid with her life by being tortured to death by her father, uncle and cousins and unceremoniously dumped in a suitcase.
Banaz Mahmod was raped, tortured and strangled with a length of plastic cord at her parents’ home in a brutal honour killing after her family felt she had “shamed” them by divorcing her arranged marriage husband and choosing her own partner.
The Kurdish 20-year-old had even heard her family discussing the plot to kill her and her boyfriend at a ‘family war council’ and had delivered a handwritten letter to police revealing the men who were “ready to do the job.”
Months later she was dead, buried several feet beneath the ground below a leaking pipe, her body bundled into a suitcase where it was left to rot.
And it was an innocent kiss outside Morden tube station in south London that was the act that would determine her death – after someone who knew Banaz and her strict Iraqi family spotted her with the man she had fallen in love with.
“What must it have been like for her getting up every morning, going downstairs and not knowing what was going to happen that day?” said crime writer Mark Billingham, who had been so affected by the case it inspired him to write novel Love Like Blood.
“She was living every minute, of every hour of every day in absolute terror.”