Two Afghan brothers have been charged in Germany with murdering their sister, whom they allegedly wanted to punish because of her Western way of life.
The men, identified only as Sayed H., 26, and Seyed H., 22, due to Germany’s privacy laws, are accused of luring their 34-year-old sister Maryam H. to a meeting in Berlin on July 13, before choking and strangling her and cutting her throat.
German prosecutors say that the brothers dismembered the mother-of-two’s body and then took a taxi to a train station later that day with her body in a suitcase.
CCTV footage, obtained by German media , appears to show Sayed and Seyed lifting the black duffle bag they had bought from Primark for 60 euros (£50) onto a train at the Südkreuz train station in Berlin.
The brothers are accused of travelling to Bavaria by train before driving to a wooded area close to Sayed’s home near Holzkirchen, where they buried Maryam’s body in a shallow grave.
After her body was found, an autopsy concluded that she had died from head and neck trauma.
Prosecutors claimed the men wanted to punish their sister ‘for her Western-oriented way of life, which did not correspond to their archaic ideas of honour and morals and their image of women.
In particular, prosecutors added, they weren’t prepared to accept that she had divorced her husband, to whom she was married when she was 16, after violent incidents and had a new relationship.
Maryam has two children – a daughter, 10, and a son, 13 – and they fled to Germany as asylum seekers from Afghanistan in 2013.
The brothers have given contradictory accounts about what was inside the suitcase, which prosecutors claim contained Maryam’s body.
While Seyed claimed that boxing gloves and dumbbells were in the bag, his brother Sayad contradicted him and claimed there were clothes and heavy class objects inside, reports BZ Berlin newspaper.
Seyed also reportedly identified himself and his brother as the men captured in CCTV footage at the train station in Berlin.
During the interrogation, the Afghan brothers were quoted as telling investigators: ‘We treat women differently than you do. A woman is like a servant who does the housework, cooks and looks after the children.’
The two brothers have been in custody since August 3 and face life imprisonment if convicted of murder.