A 46-year-old woman and two young men are in custody as suspects in the murder of a family member in the Stockholm municipality of Nacka. The suspects are Ethiopian citizens, and the police suspect they were involved in an honor killing.
According to previous media reports, the suspects are family members of a deceased teenage girl found dead in her home in Nacka on Thursday. Family members told police that the girl had taken her own life, but police quickly became suspicious and arrested three family members on suspicion of murder.
Reports show the police suspected the family had arranged the suicide to hide a murder after the stories of the family members failed to add up, Swedish news outlet Nyheter Idag reports.
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The suspects provided differing statements to the police, and also attempted to hide the victim’s mobile phone and objects used in the alleged suicide.
Police suspect that the motive in the alleged murder was that the girl was hanging out with friends after school, which upset other members of the family. The victim’s school expressed concern for the girl, which was reinforced by the fact that she was reported sick on Thursday.
A forensic pathologist has also found that the girl’s injuries do not correspond with injuries sustained in a suicide.
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All suspects deny any wrongdoing.
Honor killings and other honor-related crimes have plagued Sweden in recent years due to mass immigration from “honor societies.” In an example of the violence displayed in some such cases, an Afghan man and his two sons stabbed another man 90 times to “preserve honor.”
In September 2019, the Swedish Police Authority began specifically tracking honor-related crimes, and by November 2021, 4,500 suspected honor-related crimes had been registered in the country’s database.
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Honor-related crimes are characterized as organized, and often involve more than one family member. They are not limited to honor killings either, but also include forced marriages, rape, kidnapping, assault, extortion, forced suicides, and torture.
According to the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, a report from 2009 showed that about 70,000 women and men said they risked being forced to marry against their will, with such numbers representing a massive 6.6 percent of females and 3.5 percent of males in the 16-25 age group in Sweden.