The harrowing true story behind ITV Honour – the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod

An ITV true crime drama called Honour will tonight explore the investigation into the real-life so-called honour killing of Banaz Mahmod.

The two-part drama stars Keeley Hawes as DCI Caroline Goode – the senior investigating officer into the disappearance and murder of Banaz in 2006.

Banaz, an Iraqi Kurdish woman living in London, had gone to the police for help five times, and was subsequently murdered on the orders of her family.

She asked police for help five times after learning that her uncle planned to have her killed.

However, she wasn’t believed by the any of the officers who interviewed her.

It wasn’t until Banaz’s boyfriend, Rahmat Sulemani, reported her missing on January 25, 2006 that police began to investigate.

Embarrassed by her colleagues’ failure to save the young woman’s life, DCI Goode vowed to get justice.

She searched for Banaz for three months before she found her buried in a suitcase in the garden of a house in Birmingham.

In January 2006, Banaz had been raped, tortured and strangled by two of her cousins, and a third man.

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Her body was stuffed into a suitcase and taken from London to Handsworth in the West Midlands to be buried in a graden.

Banaz had been killed because she had left the abusive husband she had been forced to marry at 17 to find love with someone else.

Her farther and uncle – Mahmod Mahmod and Ari Mahmud – were so “ashamed” by her actions that they ordered her murder.

Banaz’s father, uncle and two cousins and a third man were convicted and jailed thanks to the brave testimony of her boyfriend, and her sister Bekhal.

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Her sister’s decision to take to the witness box to testify against her family meant she had to disappear forever.

She was entered into witness protection, and had to cut herself off from her friends.

Rahmat, who testified for the prosecution, died by suicide in 2016.

If you are in the UK and are at risk or are concerned for someone that is, you can contact Karma Nirvana confidentially on 0800 5999 247 or their website.

Honour airs on ITV at 9pm on Monday September 28 and Tuesday September 29

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

  • ITV
  • London

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