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Fadime Şahindal (2 April 1975, Elbistan - 21 January 2002) was a Kurdish immigrant who moved to Sweden from Turkey at the age of seven. She was murdered by her father, Rahmi, in January 2002 in an "honor killing".


Şahindal was opposed to her family's insistence on an arranged marriage, and instead selected her own boyfriend. At first she kept the relationship secret, but her father found out about it.

Fadime then left her family and moved to Sundsvall, where her brother found her and threatened her. She went to the police who advised her at first to talk to her family. She then turned to the media with her story, after which she turned again to the police and was offered a secret identity. By turning to the media Fadime managed to receive support from the Swedish authorities, but she had also made the "shame" of her family public.

She filed a lawsuit against her father and brother and won - her father was accused of unlawful threats.

The next month, in June 1998, they were scheduled to move in together when the boyfriend, Patrick, died in a car accident. He was buried in Uppsala.

Her father forbade her to visit Uppsala, since he did not want her to visit her former boyfriend's grave. Nalin Pekgul, a Kurdish-Swedish parliamentarian negotiated a compromise in which Şahindal agreed to stay away from Uppsala and her father promised not to stalk her.

On 20 November 2001 the Violence against Women network arranged a seminar about the topic "Integration on whose terms?". During the seminar Fadime spoke in front of the Swedish parliament about her personal story.

On 21 January 2002, Fadime was secretly visiting her mother and sisters in Uppsala. Her father arrived and shot her in the head, in front of her mother and two sisters. Confronted by police, he confessed and said to his defence that he was ill. Despite the confession, one of her cousins later tried to convince the police that he had killed her.

Her murder sparked a debate in Sweden about immigrant integration and raised questions regarding Patrick's death.

Fadime was buried in Uppsala.


Further reading

Wikan, Unni; Translated by Anna Paterson (2008). In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226896861. Read an excerpt

External links

da:Fadime Sahindal no:Fadime Şahindal fi:Fadime Şahindal sv:Fadime Sahindal

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