Twenty-year-old Gülsüm S. died after her brother strangled her with a clothes line and then bludgeoned her with sticks because she had “sullied the family honour.”
The young woman was to have been married against her will, but when her family discovered she was no longer a virgin and had had an abortion, her brother abducted her from their Rees home and killed her in a remote field on March 2, taking her wallet to simulate a robbery, police said.
Police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have also arrested her father, but he has denied being involved in the murder.
The young woman had apparently had trouble with her family for several years because of her western lifestyle and contacted authorities to help her secretly find her own apartment after being abused.
“She could not break the bind with her family,“ a police spokesperson said, adding that she eventually returned to live in their home.
According to news agency DPA, some 50 women have been the victim of honour killings in Germany over the last decade.
In February a German-Afghan man was sentenced to life in prison for the honour killing of his his 16-year-old sister Morsal O. on May 15, 2008 because she had turned away from her family. The girl died after suffering 23 stab wounds in a Sankt Georg district parking lot in Hamburg.
A series of six honour killings – including the shooting at a bus stop of 23-year-old Turkish woman Hatun Sürücü in Berlin – shook Germany in 2005. Sürücü’s youngest brother, Ayhan Sürücü, later confessed to killing her because his family did not approve of her lifestyle.