Sweden funds fight against honour crimes

Sweden said on Thursday it had set aside 32 million kronor ($4.9 million) to fund local efforts to combat so-called honour crimes.

“The government prioritises work to fight honour-related violence and oppression,” said Integration and Gender Equality Minister Nyamko Sabuni in a statement.

“Many youths, mainly girls, who are the victims of honour oppression are living in very difficult conditions, sometimes risking their lives… The victims must have easy access to protection and support.”

Honour-related violence, including killings, are sometimes seen by male relatives as a way to avenge their honour if a woman is suspected of being unchaste and of having brought shame on her family.

While such crimes are most common in some Muslim parts of the Middle East and Asia, and are increasingly being seen in certain immigrant communities in Western countries, experts say Islam in no way condones the practice.

Thursday’s announcement came as Swedish police were investigating whether a 16-year-old girl who died after falling from a fourth-floor balcony last week was the victim of an honour killing.

Her stepfather and 19-year-old brother have reportedly been charged with her murder.