A 17-year-old Iraqi girl has been murdered by her father in an 'honour killing' after falling in love with a British soldier in Basra.
Rand Abdel-Qader was killed after her family discovered she had formed a friendship with a 22-year-old infantryman she knew as Paul. Rand, who met the soldier while working on an aid project for displaced families, was suffocated by her father and then hacked at with a knife. All the time he was calling out that his honour was being cleansed, said Rand's mother.
The father was arrested, held for two hours, then released without charge. 'Not much can be done when we have an "honour killing",' said Sgt Ali Jabbar of Basra police. 'You are in a Muslim society and women should live under religious laws.'
Rand's mother, who divorced her husband after the killing, is now in hiding from her family and being looked after by a local charity. 'She has been threatened by her husband's family and is very scared,' said a charity spokeswoman.
An MoD spokesman said there was no official policy on advising troops how to behave with Iraqi women, indicating that Paul would not have been told that their friendship might be putting her life at risk. 'They are not told: don't go and fall in love.'
Though this is believed to be the first 'honour killing' involving a British soldier, there were 47 such killings of young women in Basra last year, though only three convictions, said the Basra Security Committee.
By: Afif Sarhan
27 April 2008
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