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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 09:50 GMT
Help for 'honour crime' victims
Honour leaflet
There is no concept of honour crimes in English law
Victims or witnesses to so-called honour crimes or forced marriages are being urged to come forward through a new leaflet which is being issued.

Published in five different languages, 'Love, "Honour" and Obey' aims to reassure victims in the West Midlands that there is support for them.

The West Midlands' Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was the first CPS publication of its kind in the country.

A spokesman said it defines honour crimes and gives details of support.

'Criminal offences'

Chief crown prosecutor David Blundell said some communities talk of honour crimes and forced marriages but there is no such concept in English law.

"If a so-called honour crime has taken place or a forced marriage then criminal offences will have been committed and the police and the CPS will do everything in their power to ensure successful prosecution," he said.

He added it was essential to challenge views which justified the unjustifiable.

"Victimising your own family is unacceptable in the 21st century," he said.

Honour killings have been in the news recently with the jailing of Bachan Athwal and her son Sukhdave, 43, who arranged the murder of Coventry-born Surjit Athwal, 27, who vanished during a trip to India in 1998.

The leaflet has been put together with the aid of voluntary groups - Ashram Housing, the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Coventry Panaghar, Sandwell Women's Aid, Doli Project and Pan Birmingham Domestic Violence.

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