The story of Fadime Sahindal, (2 April 1975-21 January 2002).


21 years have passed today, since the murder of Fadime, from her own father. She was a Kurdish immigrant, who moved to Sweden from Turkey, in the age of 7 years old.

On 21 January 2002, she was murdered by her father, Rahmi. The murder was labelled as an honour crime.

Fadime was a talented student. Accidently she discovered that her parents they hid from her, the acceptance letter from the University. She had been accepted for a social studies course.

Fadime was opposed to her family’s insistence, on arranging her marriage with a male cousin, who lived in their Kurdish home village in Turkey. Instead, she opted to pursue a relationship with a Swedish man. On the first place, she kept her relationship secret, but her father found out about it. She left her family and she moved to Sundsvall, but her brother found her and threatened her. She went to the police, who advised her that she must first talk to her family.

Then she turned to the media making her story public and also, she turned again to the police, where it was given to her a secret identity. After her story was made public, she gets help from the Swedish authorities.

She took legal action against her father and her brother accusing them of unlawful threats, and she won.

Fadime was scheduled to move with her boyfriend, Patrick, the following month but he died in a car accident.

He was buried in Uppsala. Her father forbade her to visit Uppsala, because he did not want to visit Patrtic’s grave.

A Kurdish-Swedish member of the parliament Nalin Pekgul, negotiated a compromise, in which Fadime, agreed to stay away from Uppsala and her father promised not to stalk her.

On 20 November 2001, the Violence Against Women network, arranged a seminar on the topic “Integration on whose terms?”. During the seminar, Fadime spoke in front of the Swedish Parliament about her personal story.

“The first signs I noticed, were, that I was no longer allowed to play with my Swedish friends or participate in activities outside of school. I had to go straight home and helping my mother with the housework’s so that I can be a good girl”, she said among other things.

On 21 January 2002, she secretly visited her mother and sisters in Uppsala. During her visit, her father arrived at home and shot her in the head in front of her mother and her two sisters. She was buried in Uppsala.

Her father Rahmi confessed that he murders his daughter but he said that he was ill. Despite the confession, one of her cousins tried later to convince the police that he had killed her. During the trial, her father said that another man killed his daughter, but claimed that he could not reveal the killer’s identity under the threat of death.

Her father was ultimately convicted by the Swedish court, for the murder of his daughter and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released in 2018 after 16 years in prison.

Fadime murder sparked a debate in Sweden about immigrant integration and raised questions regarding Patrick’s death.