2 thoughts on “An "honour killing"”

  1. In 2016 while investigating the Saudi state-run programme to kill and kidnap dissidents and defectors living abroad I came across this explosive document (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CaqFLN2BMGV_7bKFx-Y5j4kemPtb1Jzc) that appears to contain evidence of an honour killing inside the Saudi royal family. The document is a dense 21-page confession by a prisoner in Saudi Arabia called Thaer Bin Mazeed Maged Rostom, apparently under interrogation by the Saudi security services. Rostom recounts his life story, which in summary is that he moved to Saudi at the end of the 90s as a 19 year old Syrian non-entity to work in Riyadh, but then his life changed dramatically in 2004 when he became friends with some royal family members.
    Initially Rostom is just a low-level drug dealer in their entourage, but as his royal connections and power expand within a few years he descends into a world of drugs, sex and international narcotrafficking that he describes in granular detail. Around 100 people are clearly identified, including around 30 royal family members, many of them descendants of Saud bin Abd al-Aziz, second king of Saudi Arabia. One of the princesses allegedly involved is married to a Saudi official working at the Military Annex of the Saudi embassy in Washington and Rostom alleges he abused his position there to smuggle narcotics. Most scandalously of all, Rostom confesses to having had a sexual relationship with three named Saudi princesses while they were all under the influence of drugs. One of the princesses Rostom says he later married, Princess Mashael bint Mohammed bin Abdulaziz. She was reported dead in Saudi media in 2014. No cause of death was given. She was 42 years old. Given Rostom’s lurid account, her premature demise looks suspiciously like an honour killing.
    The authenticity of Rostom’s confession cannot be confirmed (which is partly why UK media have been reluctant to risk reporting it) but independent Saudi sources believe it to be genuine and some of the information it contains can be corroborated. In May 2014 for example DewanyOrg a Saudi human rights organisation based in Geneva published a missing notice for Rostom and in December that same year Rostom’s family put out an announcement on YouTube appealing for any information about him.

  2. Turkey is also experiencing a similar controversy. Over the last few years the number of women from lower income families being murdered by one or other of their menfolk has risen sharply and feminists and left/liberals (the sort of people denounced in some Western circles as ‘the Kemalist elite’) have protested regularly and strongly at apparent leniency by courts and prosecutors. There were 49 such murders of women in Turkey in August, up from 40 in June and 31 in July. There has been a steady increase in murders of women in Turkey since 2000. In 2009 for example, though the killings were 25% up on the previous year, they totalled only 109 for the twelve months—i.e. just over twice the monthly figure in August this year.
    The deaths show a clear pattern of revenge killings of women who had tried to escape from a partner, husband or family, only to be trapped and stabbed or shot, sometimes in front of their children. Most (26) were murdered in their homes, (even when a court had issued an order denying the man involved the right to see the woman), but other deaths occurred when women were pursued to hospitals, parks, cars and streets. Video footage circulated of a woman being murdered while she screamed that she did not want to die.
    There have also been some cases of paedophilia involving Sheikhs of brotherhoods.
    The pro-government newspaper ‘Yeni Safak’ today takes up the cause of the latter with a writer claiming that the Sufi brotherhoods are being targeted by a cabal of lesbians and homosexuals and their name deliberately blackened. The writer (Ergun Yildirim) says it is paradoxical that Turkey should be discussing giving more freedom to pederasts and lesbians, while imposing restrictions on the Tarikat brotherhoods.

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