Woman covered with a scarf. Photo: REUTERS Morteza Nikoubaz

06 December 2018, 17:02

"Legal Initiative" names reasons for "honour killings" in Northern Caucasus

Today, the "Legal Initiative" has published its report "Killed by Gossip. Honour Killings of Women in Northern Caucasus". It contains real stories of women who fell victim to honour killings in Northern Caucasus in 2008-2017.

"The study has revealed that in 2008-2017, there were 33 cases, as a result of which 39 people were killed, including 36 women (92.3%) and three men. The analysis of honour killings has shown that mostly young women became victims of such crimes: unmarried girls or divorced women, less often, married women aged from 20 to 30. In relation to killers, they were daughters, sisters, wives, nieces or stepdaughters," say authors of the report, Yulia Antonova, a senior lawyer of the "Legal Initiative" Project, and Saida Sirazhudinova, the president of the Centre for Studying Global Issues of Modernity and Regional Problems "Caucasus. Peace. Development".

According to the study, "most murders that became known to media and rights defenders and reached the court were committed in Dagestan. This is mostly connected with the condemnation of such cases. A smaller number of such killings reach media and courts in Ingushetia and Chechnya."

"In practice, only a few of such crimes become known and subject to legal investigation and attention of media. The real number of such killings is, of course, much higher than documented in this study," the report says.

The authors of the report, based on the analysis of 70 interviews, have identified three factors contributing to the preservation of the practice of honour killings: the society's resistance to the loss of its identity and depersonalization; the patriarchal nature; and the collective identity (clannish organization and clannish dependency, and lack of autonomous personality).

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 6, 2018 at 02:28 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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