Brother Filmed Killing His Own Sister: Displaced Women in Syria Subjected to Honour Killings

Marisha Dolly Singh
A video showing the brutal killing of a young Syrian girl by her own brother has been released on line and she was killed to “bring back the honour” of her family.

As the Syrian war has raged and claimed lakhs of lives, the lives of women have become collateral damage in this ugly conflict. A video showing the brutal killing of a young Syrian girl by her own brother has been released on line and she was killed to “bring back the honour” of her family.

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The video released in the last week of October was reportedly shot in Jarabulus, a Syrian city in the district of Aleppo. The video shows a young man holding a Kalashnikov rifle in hand, pointing at a young girl wearing a scarf and crouching on the floor. “Make sure we can see both your faces,” a voice orders him. Bashar Bseiso, as his friend follows to call him in the video, is told, “Go ahead, Bashar – cleanse your honour.” His sister, Rasha, who appears to be crying and her faced is concealed with her headscarf is still cowering. Bashar then proceeds to shoot multiple bullets into his sister and watches her die.

This atrocity and inhuman act, of a brother killing his own sister was reportedly live streamed on Facebook. Rasha had been killed by her own brother after indiscreet pictures of the girl were posted on the social media site. Some media reports say she was raped by a Turkish officer who then posted her photos online. Others say she was in a relationship with a Turkish soldier who posted their photos online and drove her brother to kill her as she “brought shame to the family”.

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Despite killing his own sister in cold blood and recording it on video, not many are hopeful of Bashar being tried for this murder. Bashar is a soldier with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army. The various lands controlled by these armed factions are governed by these militias and are a law unto themselves. Women have also been targeted by Bashar Al-Assad's soldiers in what some reported as a campaign of mass rapes, raping and pillaging women young and old to punish families and to instill fear.

Turkey has invested considerable resources in building up the FSA across the border in Syria, in order to combat groups such as the Kurdish PKK that it considers its enemy. It has been two week since this crime came to light but Bashar is yet to be arrested. “What [Bseis] did was not an ethic of the Free Syrian Army and is contrary to the principles of our revolution,” Mustafa Sejari, a spokesman for the FSA, told the Guardian, adding that “an investigation was under way.” But Bashar has left his hometown and in a lawless land, who can be counted upon to bring him to book for his crime.

As Syria has turned into a minefield, women have witnessed the worst atrocities – the Yazidis at the hands of the Islamic State or Syrian women at the various factions that control the land that they live one. Any solution to Syria’s war remains far from sight and so does any solution to protect women affected by this conflict.