Banaz A Love Story


Fritt Ord and Fuuse invite to a screening of Banaz A Love Story followed by a Q&A with Director and Producer Deeyah, Detective Superintendent Caroline Goode, Campaigner Diana Nammi, and Author and Professor of Social Antropology Unni Wikan. Writer, Lecturer and Broadcaster Kenan Malik will moderate the conversation. Time and Date: Thursday, 24 January 2013 at 7 p.m. Venue: Fritt Ord Foundation, Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo.

See video from the conversation here.

Banaz Mahmod was brutally murdered by her own family, in an honour killing.
 This film tells Banaz’s story, in her own words, for the first time – and tells the story of the extraordinary police team who refused to give up, and finally brought her killers to justice.

Registration: See trailer: YouTube or Vimeo

This is a documentary film chronicling an act of overwhelming horror – the brutal honour killing of Banaz Mahmod, a young British woman in suburban London in 2006, killed and “disappeared” by her own family, with the agreement and help of a large section of the Kurdish community, because she tried to choose a life for herself. It was a case which shocked the entire world and received enormous international press coverage; but until now, the voice of Banaz herself has never been heard.

Deeyah and Detective Superintendent Caroline Goode
As the result of four painstaking years gaining the trust and co-operation of the extraordinary police officers who solved the case, the film contains heart-breaking footage of Banaz herself, detailing the horrors she was facing and accurately predicting her own brutal murder. The footage, which has never before been seen and has been obtained by Deeyah for the first time, displays the warmth, beauty and courage of Banaz.

Despite the horror, what emerges is a story of love …

Of Banaz, an ordinary young British teenager, whose relationship with Rahmat put her life in danger. It was her video messages from beyond the grave which convicted her father and uncle of the murder she feared would happen.

Of Bekhal, a young woman of incredible spirit and bravery, whose love for her murdered sister gave her the strength to testify against her own family and community – bringing justice to Banaz but consigning her to a life forever lived in hiding.

Of Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode, the senior Scotland Yard detective, who says she came to love Banaz beyond the grave. It was Caroline’s dedication and passion which drove her on, finding her body against all the odds, laying her to rest, and relentlessly pursuing her killers, even to Iraq.

And Deeyah, international music producer and activist turned filmmaker, who has herself been subject to honour related abuse and threat. It was Deeyah’s love for the story, for Banaz, for Bekhal and for Caroline, and for raising awareness for the issue of honour killing, which has driven her to spend four years making this harrowing and deeply emotional film.

Banaz is a symbol of horror and hope in the fight to overcome oppression and outdated, abominable cultural practices, practices which claim the lives of thousands of other women like Banaz every year.

But above all, the film is an act of remembrance, an act of recovery of Banaz, one human being. After her family tried so brutally to erase her from the face of the earth, for the first time, Banaz’s voice is finally being heard.

Film funded by: Fritt Ord
Film Produced and Directed by: Deeyah –
Production Company: Fuuse –

In the making of this film, Deeyah has worked with a wide range of experts, activists and NGOs specialising in the field of honour-based violence, some of whom have been interviewed for the film. This collaborative process has led to a shared recognition of the urgent need for online educational resources and campaigning networks dedicated to this vital issue. As a result, the making of Banaz A Love Story, has led to Deeyah and her partners founding two initiatives:

HBVA (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network), an international digital resource centre working to advance awareness through research, documentation, information and training for professionals who may encounter women, girls and men at risk, building partnerships with experts, activists, and NGOs from around the world.

Memini, an online memorial to victims of honour killing. Memini exists to acknowledge the lives and deaths of thousands who are killed in the ongoing massacre of “honour” killing. We seek to create a community of remembrance to end the silence, honour the dead and keep their memories alive, collecting and preserving the stories of women like Banaz, as well as celebrating their strength and courage.

DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT CAROLINE GOODE is one of the leading experts on honour based violence in Great Britain. She led the successful murder investigation into the 2006 Banaz Mahmod honour killing in London. Caroline secured the first ever extradition from Iraq to England in the Banaz case. Caroline Goode has been given the Queen's Police Medal for leading this investigation.

Caroline Goode headed the highly complex and successful investigation into the murder of Banaz Mahmod, 20, from Mitcham in south London. Her work helped revolutionise the way the MPS handles such murders.

Banaz was strangled at her home on the orders of her father and uncle because they disapproved of her boyfriend. Two men who fled to Iraq became the first suspects to be extradited to Britain from Iraq after MPS detectives tracked them down.

Caroline Goode, who received the Queen's Policing Medal for Distinguished Service, said: "Leading this investigation was a life changing experience for me. It was my first week as acting Detective Chief Inspector and I had to learn a lot about this type of crime, so-called honour violence, very quickly.

"It was an extremely challenging and complex case, but also incredibly emotive. We ended up with two trials and five people were convicted of murder." I led a team of dedicated, dynamic and tenacious individuals whose commitment to bringing Banaz's murderers to justice was as great as my own. It was a real honour - in the true sense of the word - to have worked with them on this case."

Since the case Goode has worked to raise other officers' understanding of Honour Based Violence both in the Metropolitan Police Service and nationally. She has in part been awarded the Queens Police Medal for her role in improving the police response to such murders.

Diana Nammi
DIANA NAMMI is a campaigner from Kurdistan-Iran. She opposed the Islamic Republic of Iran which imposes Sharia law on Iranian people and violates the rights of women and children. Diana led many campaigns fighting for justice in a secular society based on human rights, freedom and equality. As a result of her activities Diana was subjected to persecution and had to flee Iran. She now lives in the UK.

In 2002 Diana established the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), a UK registered charity which provides advice and support to Iranian, Kurdish, Arab, Turkish and Afghan women who are affected by domestic violence, forced marriage, FGM and “honour” killing. Diana has set up “stop honour killings” campaign and successfully managed to take world attention to “honour” based violence as a form of violence against women mainly. IKWRO has become a leading organisation for many campaigns in the UK and internationally including campaign against “honour” killings.

“Honour” killing is a global problem which claims thousands of women’s lives each year. Diana saw the need for an international organisation to fight for women’s rights and against “honour” crimes and in 2003 she founded the International Campaign against Honour Killings. Many individuals and organisations have joined this campaign and it has become a significant resource for research, networking and support.

Diana’s work has received national and international recognition. She has become a very well-known public speaker on violence against women and in particular “honour” Based Violence. She is regularly asked to deliver training for professionals and to give presentations at conferences and meetings. Her organisation, IKWRO won the ‘Rising Star award’ by the Lilith Project (Eaves Housing) for the Best New Voluntary Sector Organisation in 2006. Diana Nammi’s unremitting work was also recognized by Eve magazine who awarded her the Eve honour in December 2007. In 2012 Diana Nammi has been named on a list of 150 women who shake the world by Newsweek and The Daily Beast in “Women in the World Summit” - to honour women activists and the growing network of powerful women who support their efforts.

Diana has been interviewed by national and international media such as BBC TV channels and radios, Sky news, ITV, GMTV, London Tonight, Heaven and Earth, Fox TV, Al Jazziera, MBC TV, Al Arabia, Man o To Tv, Partow TV and many more. She has also been interviewed and quoted in the Guardian, Observer, Independent, Times, Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard, and Daily Mail newspapers, and in Marie Claire and Eve magazines.

Unni Wikan
UNNI WIKAN is an author and professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway. In 2003 she wrote For ærens skyld - Fadime til ettertanke (In Honor of Fadime – Murder and Shame), about the honour killing of Fadime Sahindal in Sweden. Her latest book is Resonance – Beyond the Words (2013) gathers together forty years of anthropological study by a researcher and writer with one of the broadest fieldwork résumés in anthropology: Unni Wikan.

Wikan was in 2004 awarded the Norwegian Fritt Ord Award for "her insightful, openhearted and challenging contributions to the public debate on the value conflicts in multicultural societies". She has studied sociology at the University of Oslo (1965-66), social anthropology at the University of Bergen (1967-68) and Arabic at the American University in Cairo (1968-69). She does not have a degree at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, but went straight onto her PhD degree.

Wikan has been a visiting professor at a number of universities across the world, among them Harvard University, USA; Beersheba University, Israel; L´école des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris; and London School of Economics (LSE). Wikan has conducted field work in Egypt, Oman, Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan and the Nordic countries.

DEEYAH is a Norwegian artist and activist. She is a music producer, composer and filmmaker.
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Kenan Malik
KENAN MALIK is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, a presenter of Analysis, on BBC Radio 4, and a panelist on The Moral Maze, also on Radio 4. I used to present Nightwaves, BBC Radio 3′s wonderful arts and ideas programme. I have also written and presented a number of radio and TV documentaries including Disunited Kingdom, Are Muslims Hated?, Islam, Mullahs and the Media, Skullduggery and Man, Beast and Politics.

My books include From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy (Atlantic, 2009 ), Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate (Oneworld, 2008), Man, Beast and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us About Human Nature (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000) and The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western Society (Palgrave, 1996). From Fatwa to Jihad was shortlisted for the 2010 Orwell Prize while Strange Fruit was on the 2009 Royal Society Science Book Prize longlist. I am currently writing a history of moral thought to be published in 2012.

I studied neurobiology (at the University of Sussex) and history and philosophy of science (at Imperial College, London). I have lectured at a number of universities in Britain, Europe, Australia and the USA. My main areas of academic interest are the history of ideas, the history and philosophy of science, the history and philosophy of religion, the philosophy of mind, theories of human nature, moral and political philosophy, and the history and sociology of race and immigration.

Politically, I take my cue from James Baldwin’s insistence that ‘Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take.’ In the 1980s I was involved with various far left organsiations and antiracist campaigns including the Newham 7 campaign, the Colin Roach campaign and East London Workers Against Racism. I have written of how the Salman Rushdie affair helped transform my relationship with the left; the Rushdie affair gave early notice of the abandonment by many sections of the left of their traditional attachment to ideas of Enlightenment rationalism and secular universalism and their growing espousal of multiculturalism, identity politics and notions of cultural authenticity. As a result, much of my political campaigning over the past decade has been in defence of free speech, secularism and scientific rationalism.

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