This was no ‘honor killing!’ Before we even get into the details we wanted to let you know that the people in Ayah Baradiyya’s small village are up in arms over what her uncle did to her and EVERYONE, including the police have given his murderous a*s the “Ho Sit Down” treatment over his claims that she had any kind of sexually inappropriate relationship with anybody.
The bottom line is that over a year ago Ayah’s uncle and two men he claims were his colleagues, drove to her school to pick her up. She initially refused to get in the car but her Uncle, using the logic of the patriarchal culture she was raised in, told her as her Uncle he wanted to talk to her. Once inside the car, he and his “friends” beat her senseless as they drove her to a remote location. She begged for her life, but they taped her mouth, tied her hands and feet and put her in a shallow well, which they covered with a rock. She was alive when they left her. It was likely a horrible death. And she went missing for over a year before the truth was discovered, leaving much suspicion on the man she was about to become engaged to. SMH.
Here are the details:
On April 20, 2010, Ayah left her home in the morning to get to Hebron University in time for an exam.
“She was an intelligent student and had excellent marks; she would have graduated this year,” said Zahia Shareef, one of Ayah’s fellow students.
Ayah studied English literature at the university, a choice which was entirely her own. But Ayah also lived in a conservative society, and so not all choices were hers.
Ayah agreed to marry a 38-year-old man from Hebron city, but her family disagreed, saying he was too old for her. But after several approaches by the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, her father had a change of heart.
“Five days before she disappeared, my father and I talked with Ayah in her room and we agreed she would not speak with him until after exams, when my father would sit with the young man and approve the engagement,” said Ayah’s sister Haneen.
When Ayah failed to return home following her exam, her family tried calling her. Finding her phone had been switched off, Haneen tried calling the man that proposed to Ayah, and he, too, had not heard from or seen her that day.
At this point, the family notified the police and what followed was an intensive search that left no stone unturned and no one in Ayah’s family circle of friends was exempt from suspicion. Her father, mother, uncle and siblings were all interrogated.
“We searched continuously for a long time, and in all areas. There were many possibilities concerning her disappearance. We examined her social network. Where did she usually go? Who were her friends?” said Col. Ramadan Awad, director of the Hebron police and the officer in charge of the investigation.
The investigation of Ayah’s family and all those who knew her finally led them to the man who had proposed to Ayah.
“At the beginning, we thought he had something to do with her disappearance. We arrested this young man and kept him for 35 days. We continuously interrogated him and came to the conclusion he has nothing to do with the disappearance of Ayah Baradiyya,” said Awad.
SMH, can you imagine her family’s worry and pain at her disappearance? And the whole time the culprit was another family member!!!
Police finally caught a break earlier this month, when a shepherd alerted police about the horrible smell coming from a well approximately two miles from Ayah’s home, where he’d initially planned to fetch water.