Last year, 17 people in the Netherlands died in honour killings (update)

There were 17 honour-killing-related deaths in the Netherlands last year, 10 of which involved male victims, according to police figures released on Friday.

The figures were collated by police experts on honour-related crimes. In addition to the 17 deaths, there were also 12 attempted murders, the experts’ report said. Five people were reported as ‘missing’.

‘Ten of the murder victims were men and seven were women. Sixteen men and three women were considered as suspects in the killings,’ the report said, without giving further details.

In total, police collected just over 500 reports of potential honour-related violence. Of these 61% concerned actual or potential threats.

Repercussions

In many cases, people were afraid of the ‘repercussions from their social environment if a secret, such as a pregnancy or extra marital affair, would come out,’ the report said.

In 25% of cases, the reports centred on actual physical violence.

A quarter of all cases played out in the Turkish community. In 16% of the cases Moroccan families were involved. Iraqi and Afghan nationals were involved in 10% and 12% of cases. In 6% of cases, a native Dutch national was involved in the violence or threats.

Shocked

In a reaction, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said he was not surprised but was shocked at the figures. Honour killing is ‘an unbelievably difficult problem’ that ‘is not appropriate to the Netherlands,’ he said.

‘We have to make it clear that this can not be accepted under any circumstances,’ he said. ‘That if you are in the Netherlands you keep your hands off each other and have the right to fall in love with whoever you want and believe whatever you like.’

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten said concerted effort is needed ‘on all fronts’ to tackle the problem.

Read the report (English summary)