Posted on June 7, 2024

Syrian Refugee ‘Murders His “Westernised” Daughter, 18, in Honour Killing

David Averre, Daily Mail, June 6, 2024

A Syrian refugee who fled to the Netherlands has reportedly confessed to murdering his 18-year-old daughter and dumping her body in a canal before fleeing the country in an apparent admission note sent to a Dutch newspaper.

Father-of-nine Khaled al-Najjar, 52, wrote in an email sent to De Telegraaf that he had killed his 18-year-old daughter Ryan al-Najjar, urging the publication to report ‘I am the one who killed’.

The confession did not specify exactly why he had decided to murder his daughter, with al-Najjar writing only that he was ‘very angry with her’, adding: ‘The reason is between me and the judge. I will read that in court’.

But neighbours and friends suspect Ryan’s death came as the result of an honour killing, with one claiming they had previously sheltered her when she had fled the family home in fear of retribution from her father.

Requesting anonymity to prevent any backlash, they told De Telegraaf that Ryan had a Dutch boyfriend, wanted to stop wearing a headscarf and had been beaten by her father who disagreed with her adoption of a Western lifestyle.

Investigators were led to her body after De Telegraaf contacted authorities having received the email said to be from her father, who only confessed to the crime after he had fled the country to Germany and on to Turkey.

Police reportedly arrested two of Ryan’s bothers, aged 22 and 24, on suspicion of having aided their father in their sister’s murder, but al-Najjar in his confession note insisted he had acted alone.

‘I am responsible for what happened and no one else. Don’t accuse people who are innocent. None of the family members have anything to do with the case,’ his letter read according to De Telegraaf.

‘No one, even outside the family, knew what I was doing. I was mysterious towards my family. That’s why I didn’t tell them.’

Neighbours who spoke to De Telegraaf said it was clear Ryan feared for her life prior to her murder.

Two people who allowed her to shelter in their home explained how she once turned up on their doorstep in bare feet pleading for help.

‘I was sitting comfortably on the couch in the evening when I suddenly heard a knock on the window…

‘I said, ”What are you doing here?” and she said: ”You have to help me, you have to help me, my father wants to kill me”.’

The woman who let Ryan into her house said the teenager claimed she had been restrained in her house by her father after he learned she was seeing a Dutch boy, adding that rope wounds were clearly visible on her wrists.

Another source told Dutch press they feared for Ryan’s life when they learned she had turned 18 years old just weeks prior to her disappearance, as the girl had said her father wanted to ‘marry her off’ – something Ryan had refused to accept.

‘Two or three weeks ago I saw large letters in the window: ”18”. I thought, ”oh God, she turned 18”,’ the aghast neighbour told press.

The al-Najjar family are from Idlib in Syria, but fled their home country in 2012 amid the outbreak of the Syrian civil war and headed into Turkey.

Two years later, they made their way into Europe and settled in the Netherlands, staying in various refugee centres before ultimately arriving in Joure in 2017.

Dutch police said they were unable to comment on the case or the nature of their investigations beyond confirming they had arrested two suspects, believed to be Ryan’s brothers.

News of Ryan’s killing comes as a Somalian man was jailed for life in Sweden yesterday after killing his girlfriend as he could not bring himself to admit to his family he had got her pregnant.

Saga Forsgren Elneborg, 20, was found strangled to death at her home in the city of Örebro in April 2023 in a case that shocked the Scandinavian country.

A judge in Örebro district court announced yesterday that 22-year-old Mohamedamin Abdirisek will face life in prison after prosecutors tore apart his alibi, which ultimately was proven to be a fake story.