HAre the urgent questions posed by Imran (name changed) at the trial of his mother’s alleged killers: “How can you continue to live with this conscience?” asks the 14-year-old, referring to his uncles – his mother’s two brothers. “How do you keep breathing that air after you do that? What do you think about when you fall asleep every night?”
The teenager looks at the camera. He wonders: “They want to be men, Muslims, honor?”. “This has nothing to do with honor except shame,” he says. “The young man’s strong words can be seen Friday on the screen of the Berlin District Court, where the murder of Afghan woman Maryam H. has been on trial since the beginning of March.
The Public Prosecution indicts her two brothers, Youssef H. and Mahdi H. By killing her in the name of “honour” – because the woman “contrary to the accused’s moral concepts followed a more modern lifestyle,” the indictment states. .
Until her death in July 2021, Maryam H. lived in Berlin with her 13-year-old son Imran and 10-year-old daughter Hosni (the name has also changed). A judge questioned both children in November for their own protection. They should be excused from testifying in court, right next to the accused. Now her video interrogation has been brought into the process.
In their testimonies, both children described their uncles as violent and domineering, especially the eldest of them, Yusuf H. “My uncles were really mean to my mom,” Hosni says. “They beat her and put pressure on her and kept calling her.”
Hosna has long black hair, wears a pink shirt and plays with a massage ball. She says her uncles come to visit every week. Then she and her mother had to cook and take care of the two men. If they fail, they are beaten.
“My mother was enslaved, and I couldn’t do anything,” Imran says. “I wasn’t allowed to do my homework, pull my hair out,” Hosni says. “Youssef wanted to force me to wear the hijab, even though I didn’t want to.” Her mother, who usually wears a headscarf, forbade it. “We are in Europe,” she said, as her son Imran said.
In his cross-examination, Imran – his buttoned shirt, a bit below his upper lip, favorite sports subjects and history – confirmed what several other witnesses had already witnessed during the course of the trial. Although his mother was tortured by her siblings, she always defended them. Once a brother hit her in the face so hard that it turned red.
He still remembers the situation vividly: “The Mahdi got up and handcuffed her. They insulted her as a whore and with other obscene words. I really wanted to do something, my body started burning inside.” Imran later told his mother to call the police. “They are my brothers,” she said, “I love them.” “I changed their diapers when they were young.”
Maryam H. She was 34 when she was murdered, and the two brothers were 25 and 22. He was charged with a horrific crime: the two brothers are said to have strangled and strangled him and cut off his neck with sharp force. They are said to have taken the body in a taxi trolley to the long-distance train station in Berlin and from there to Bavaria. The body was buried there.
After escaping from Afghanistan, E left her forced marriage in Germany and entered into a new relationship. According to the prosecutor, this way of life does not correspond to the “old ideas of honor and the image of a woman” of the brothers.
During their interrogation, two children H, Omran and Hosni, described a system of constant calls and checks on his sister’s mobile phone. “He wanted to find evidence that my mother was a bad woman,” Hosni says. “My mom always prayed, she was a very good woman,” says Imran.
Joseph always wanted to know what Mary was doing – and prevented her from meeting friends and any men. Tell the children to reach out immediately if they see their mother with a man. Yusef himself, according to Imran, was in contact with many women. Al-Mahdi smokes and takes drugs.
Indications that the two brothers are guilty are clear: CCTV images from Berlin-Südkreuz train station from July 2021 show the men carrying a loose bag onto the train. A police dog of blood and corpse showed a “behaviour report” on a chair in the room next to the accused, Mahdi H. and on the escalator at Sudcruz train station, which the accused had used. A piece of disposable glove was affixed in duct tape to the corpse, and the DNA of Mehdi H. could be identified. Shortly before the event, Yusef H. On Google for “Bag up to 70 kg Berlin”.
Imran, the son of Maryam, is certain that his uncles killed his mother. “They are the worst you can imagine,” he says.