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"Honour crimes" and forced marriage

What is a so-called 'honour' crime?

So-called 'honour based violence' is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.

'So-called Honour Crime' is a fundamental abuse of Human Rights.

There is no honour in the commission of murder, rape, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up 'violence in the name of so-called honour'.

The simplicity of the above definition is not intended in any way to minimise the levels of violence, harm and hurt caused by such acts.

(definition used by the Metropolitan Police Working Group on honour based violence)

What is a forced marriage?

In a forced marriage you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so. It is an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis.

It’s not the same as an arranged marriage where you have a choice as to whether to accept the arrangement or not. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.

(Definition from the Foreign and Commonwealth office)

Both 'honour crimes' and forced marriage are forms of domestic violence.

Forced Marriage (civil protection) Act 2007 came into force on 25th November 2008

Recommendations on future work on forced marriage and so-called 'honour' crime

CPS pilot on forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ crime – findings

Policy for prosecuting domestic violence

Men found guilty of murder in honour killing


The following statement was issued by the Crown Prosecution Service after the father, uncle and their colleagues were found guilty today at the Old Bailey of the murder of Banaz Mahmod Aga.

Paul Goddard, CPS London senior prosecutor said:

"The murder of Banaz Mahmod Aga by her father, uncle and their associates not only took away the life of a young woman, it left her boyfriend in fear of his life and also left members of the family and community in fear. The CPS and the police have worked together since February 2006 in this case, firstly to attempt to discover the whereabouts of Banaz Mahmod Aga, and then to bring her murders to justice.

"The discovery of Banaz's body on 28 April 2006 was not the end of the case but the beginning of an even more challenging phase. Witnesses required assurance and measures to assist them; telephone and technological evidence of considerable volume and complexity required detailed analysis and re-analysis in order to reveal the truth of what happened to Banaz and avoid the false trails that had been laid down.

"There is no honour in murder, and no circumstances in which the CPS and the police will not prosecute with the utmost rigour those who commit crimes in the name of so-called honour."

For more information contact the CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8127.