Honor Killing Trial in Ottawa

Feruz Mengal and Khatera Sadiqi
Feruz Mengal and Khatera Sadiqi (Ottawa Citizen Handout Photo)
On Sept. 19, 2006 Khatera Sadiqi and her fiance, Feruz Mengal were gunned down by Sadiqi’s brother, Hasibullah. The story, as it is, sounds sadly familiar. Hasibullah was angry because his sister had agreed to marry Mengal without her father’s permission and because she was living in the Mengal home. The Sadiqi family, is originally from Afghanistan, and although in Canada for many years, Hasibullah clung to his traditional roots and believed that his sister had brought dishonor to the Sadiqi family.

The trial has just begun in Ottawa. Witnesses, including Sadiqi’s mother have been called to testify. Of course, everything about this case bothers me but in such matters, when one can no longer help the victims, we turn our hopes to the justice system. We hope that the murderer will be duly punished, and there is a good chance he will be. The thing that bothers me about the trial is the defense’s position. They are not claiming that Sadiqi did not kill his sister. Instead, they are suggesting that he was provoked by his sister. If the defense can prove their case, his sentence will be reduced from murder to manslaughter.

I know I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. The trial has only begun and, of course, the defense is going to look for the best angle to try to reduce the sentence of their client. However, the idea being promoted that Khatera was at all responsible for her brother’s actions is very disturbing. Frankly, I think Hasibullah already knew what he wanted to do when he did it. The details on what she might have done to “provoke” him are not available. Could it be that she simply insisted that she had every right, which she did, to marry Feruz? And now defending your own rights is consider provocation? I really hope that is not the case.

I plan to follow the trial as closely as I can and will hope for a just result for both Khatera and Feruz.

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6 thoughts on “Honor Killing Trial in Ottawa

  1. this is exactly what the defense means by provocation. it’s heard too often, in particular about rape, that “she” asked for it… she was wearing “provocative” clothes, she walked provocatively or she provoked the rapist by being a tease.

    i hope the judge is provoked in whipping the victims’ killer’s ass for at least: life in prison and i hope the killer provokes the other nice inmates to truly enjoy his company.

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    1. Yes, Abu Fares, you’re right. It is reminiscent of tactics used in rape trials. Its horrible. If we can see this, surely a judge would…I hope.

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  2. Isobel, thanks for bringing this to our attention. It is very very sad when a modern defense attorney will use very old ‘justifications’ for murder. It makes me feel like we are losing ground in the West faster than we are gaining it here.

    What is even sadder is that in spite of all the years the brother had been in Canada, his tribal root values took precedence over Canadian ones. If a precedence is established by the defense, how many more newer immigrants will see that they can get away with murder?

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    1. It would set a bad precedence, indeed, Kinzi. I think Canada is usually thought of as a safe haven for many who are fleeing injustice and persecution elsewhere. If they can’t rely on the justice system when they come here while others use it to their advantage, what is the point really? I certainly hope the result of this trial quashes this kind of thinking and HARD!!

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  3. If a precedent is set in this case and the defense of provocation reduces the charges of first degree murder to manslaughter, think of the many other young women who will realize that Canada’s justice system is not there to protect them from violence or penalize male family members who exercise and impose sharia oppression. There is no place in Canada for sharia.

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    1. Grace, although I don’t see a direct connection of this case to Sharia…I suppose one could argue that if it is seen that our legal system is lenient in a case like this, those promoting Sharia could be encouraged. We can only hope the outcome is the opposite of what we fear.

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