Ziena had to die because of "family honor," first of four perpetrators released after serving one-third of sentence
suffocated: June 21, 2012
Residence: Leuven, Belgium
Origin: victim: Belgian/Moroccan, perpetrators: Turkish/Kurdish
Children: 1 son
Perpetrators: Ahmet Kaplan (22), Berzan Kaplan (23), Ridvan Aras (23) and Rojhat Akgül (22)
Ziena Kemous of Leuven is the daughter of a Belgian mother and a Moroccan father. On the night of June 21-22, 2012, she was murdered and buried by a Kurdish quartet. One of the perpetrators was Ahmet Kaplan, the father of Ziena's child and a member of a notorious clan. He was about to marry his niece, which is why Ziena had to disappear. The day after the murder, they were dancing at the wedding party of one of the four. Ziena's body was found three months later.
On December 16, 2012, the quartet was arrested. On December 3, 2015, the four were sentenced to 27 years in prison. Despite resistance from Ziena's sisters, Berzan Kaplan was released on May 17, 2023 with an ankle bracelet. Including pretrial detention, he spent about 9 years in prison. He helped bury Ziena's body after the murder. Co-perpetrator Ridvan Aras was released earlier.
What is an honour killing?
An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:
Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.