Two Afghan brothers jailed for life in Germany for murder of sister

Two Afghan brothers are jailed for life in Germany for murdering their sister ‘because of her modern lifestyle’: Body was put in a suitcase and taken on train to dumping ground

  • Maryam H, 34, was found buried in Bavaria weeks after disappearing in July 2021
  • Her brothers Yousuf and Mahdi H, both in their 20s, were jailed for life today

A German court on Thursday sentenced two Afghan brothers to life in prison for murdering their sister because they disapproved of her ‘modern’ lifestyle.

The victim, a 34-year-old mother-of-two identified as Maryam H., was found buried on a hill in Germany’s southern Bavaria region several weeks after going missing from her Berlin home in July 2021.

Train station security footage showed her brothers, Yousuf and Mahdi H., boarding a train from Berlin to Bavaria around the time Maryam H. went missing, dragging a heavy suitcase believed to have contained her body.

She was found with tape covering her hands, feet, mouth and nose, and experts told the district court in Berlin that she had been choked to death before her throat was slit.

Yousuf Sayed H., 27, and Madhi Seyed H., 23, were both found guilty of murdering their sister

The brothers were found guilty of luring their 34-year-old sister Maryam H. (pictured) to a meeting in Berlin in July 2021, before strangling her and cutting her throat

Judge Thomas Gross said the two men, both in their 20s, had killed the woman ‘because she was increasingly pulling away from the controlling influence of the brothers’.

‘They denied her this right, this right to life,’ Gross declared at the verdict.

Prosecutors said the brothers had objected to their sister’s ‘partially modern lifestyle’ and had tried to forbid her from having a new relationship after she separated from her Afghan husband.

Defence lawyers argued that Yousuf had accidentally killed his sister during an argument, and that Mahdi H. should walk free.

But the claims were rejected by the court and both brothers were found guilty after 42 days of negotiations and the questioning of 52 witnesses.

The brothers travelled to Bavaria by train before driving to a wooded area close to the brothers’ home near Holzkirchen, where they buried Maryam’s body in a shallow grave (pictured)

This taxi is believed to be the vehicle used by the brothers to travel to the Sudkreuz train station in Berlin where they killed their sister

Maryam fled from Afghanistan to Germany in 2013 and successfully sought asylum with her then-husband, Saeed Habib H., and their two young children.

But four years later their marriage fell apart and Maryam divorced her husband under German law.

German press reported that news of the divorce enraged her brothers, who began exercising controlling behaviour towards Maryam, cracking down on her freedom and forcing her to abide by strict Islamic laws such as wearing a headscarf and only going out in public when accompanied by a familial male escort. 

Maryam’s ex-husband also threatened her with death, leading to a restraining order being taken out on him.  

Maryam’s kids, now aged 15 and 11, are living with their father following their mother’s death. 

But despite overwhelming evidence which led to the brothers’ murder conviction, Habib refused to testify against them during the trial. 

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