A German court on Thursday sentenced two Afghan brothers to life in prison for murdering their sister because they disapproved of her “modern” lifestyle.
The victim, a 34-year-old mother of two identified as Maryam H., was found buried on a hill in Germany’s southern Bavaria region several weeks after going missing from her Berlin home in July 2021.
Train station security footage showed her brothers, Yousuf and Mahdi H., boarding a train from Berlin to Bavaria around the time Maryam H. went missing, dragging a heavy suitcase believed to have contained her body.
She was found with tape covering her hands, feet, mouth and nose, and experts told the district court in Berlin that she had been choked to death before her throat was slit.
Judge Thomas Gross said the two men, both in their 20s, had killed the woman “because she was increasingly pulling away from the controlling influence of the brothers”.
Prosecutors said the brothers had objected to their sister’s “partially modern lifestyle” and had tried to forbid her from having a new relationship after she separated from her Afghan husband.
Defense lawyers argued that Yousuf had accidentally killed his sister during an argument and that Mahdi H. should walk free, claims that were rejected by the court.