Britain was appalled by the horrific ‘honour killing’ of a girl murdered by her father for daring to kiss the man she loved.
Here, her sister, who narrowly escaped death herself and now lives in fear of her life, breaks her silence.
Every time Bekhal Mahmod leaves the safety of her home, she wears the hijab with a black veil covering her face – even though she would give anything for the freedom not to have to.
She has no family to turn to, few friends, and has to lie to new acquaintances about who she is and where she is from. She is constantly looking over her shoulder.
“My life will always be at risk,” says 22-year-old Bekhal. “There are people in my community who want to see me dead, and they will not rest until I am. I will never be safe. I wear the veil so no one can recognise me.”
It is a desperately lonely and isolated existence, but at least she is alive – unlike her younger sister Banaz.
Both young women brought “shame” on their strict Muslim Iraqi Kurdish family by disobeying their father Mahmod.
Bekhal, 22, ran away aged 16 rather than agree to an arranged marriage to a cousin in Iraq.
She survived an attempted killing by her brother, but her sister Banaz, 20, paid the ultimate price for leaving her own arranged marriage and then falling in love with an “unsuitable man” of her own choice.
On the orders of her 52-year-old father and uncle, Ari Mahmod, 50, she was strangled with a bootlace by Kurdish assassins, her body stuffed in a suitcase and buried six feet down in the garden of a house belonging to an associate in Birmingham.
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