Refugee Murders Swedish Girlfriend in Suspected Honor Killing

A 20-year-old pregnant Swedish woman was murdered by her boyfriend in an apparent honor killing, prosecutors say. Saga Forsgren Elneborg was found strangled to death by an electrical cord at her apartment in Örebro last April, and her boyfriend, Mohamedamin Abdirisek Ibrahim, has been charged with her killing. Prosecutors alleged he murdered her to avoid the “shame” of introducing a white girlfriend to his Muslim family.

Lawyers for the victim’s relatives said they had endured a “long and painful wait” of over a year before police arrested and charged Ibrahim. Prosecuting attorney Elisabeth Anderson said Ibrahim strangled Ms. Elneborg and that the murder “took place in an honor context.” Ibrahim reportedly sent text messages to Elneborg on the day of her murder, saying he was nervous about telling his family he was to become a father to a mixed-race child.

Attorneys note, however, that there is no evidence to suggest the alleged killer’s family knew about his intentions or were involved in the murder.

Evidence has emerged, however, that the father-to-be appeared to want his girlfriend to have an abortion when he learned of the pregnancy. Court documents show that he sent Elneborg a text message suggesting he would lose his family if the pregnancy were disclosed to them. The victim was seven months pregnant when she died, and her mother told Swedish media she was over the moon with excitement at the prospect of motherhood.

Ibrahim denies the charges and insists he loved Elneborg and did not harm her.

Honor killings are generally associated with immigrant communities in Sweden and are globally prevalent in countries with Muslim majorities. The highest numbers occur in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Pakistan.

There is no centralized data available about the prevalence of honor killing in the United States. However, high-profile cases include that of Amina and Sara Said, who were shot dead by their father in Texas in 2008 for having non-Muslim boyfriends.