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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 01:20 GMT 02:20 UK
Police 'ignoring honour violence'
Honour killing victim Samaira Nazir
Honour killing victim Samaira Nazir fell in love with the wrong man
The lives of women are being endangered because police cannot adequately deal with honour violence, it is claimed.

Campaigners say many women who seek protection are sent home, having been dismissed as victims of a family tiff.

There are around 12 "honour killings" every year in the UK. This is when a woman is killed by a family member over sexual activity or choice of a husband.

A conference in Leeds bringing together police, legal experts and women's groups is to examine the issue.

Campaigners feel women who take the step of making a complaint to police are at great risk of violence or death, especially if they are sent home, reports BBC correspondent Sanjiv Butto.

They say many victims of violence have their plight hidden by their family or members of the wider community who believe their actions are justified.

'Barbaric' murder

Last week, a man was jailed for life for murdering his sister after she fell in love with an asylum seeker.

Greengrocer Azhar Nazir, 30, and his cousin Imran Mohammed, 17, stabbed Samaira Nazir 18 times at the family home in Southall in April 2005.

How many women are walking into a police station right now with an issue that's not being dealt with appropriately
Jasvinder Sanghera

The 25-year-old recruitment consultant was killed in front of two young nieces after she asked to marry an Afghan man - instead of marrying someone in the Pakistani family circle.

An Old Bailey judge - who described the attack as barbaric - detained Mohammed, also convicted of murder, for life.

The conference will hear that many police officers - who admit lives are being put at risk because they are not trained properly - fear being accused of racism if they get involved.

Jasvinder Sanghera, who runs Karma Nirvana, an Asian women's group in Derby, said: "I really feel that front line officers want to do the right thing.

"But how many women are walking into a police station right now with an issue that's not being dealt with appropriately."

Ms Sanghera said officers need better training in how to spot women at risk and help them accordingly.

Among those taking part in the conference on Thursday are representatives of the Home Office, the police, the Crime Prosecution Service and Karma Nirvana Asian Women's Project.



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