Ma'an News Agency
December 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Four men accused of the honor killing of 20-year-old Ayah Ibrahim Baradiyya, whose remains were found in May 2011, told a jury on Monday that their confession was obtained through torture.

The four men, an uncle and three other relatives of the victim, were attending the first court hearing in the murder trial of the young student who went missing in April 2010.

“I am guiltless and I have nothing to do with this charge which I denounce. What happened was that detectives tortured me and broke my jaw to make me confess," the victim's uncle said in court.

"I was not in Surif when the victim disappeared. She had asked me to help her get married to the young man she was in love with, and I am innocent of this crime.”

The other three suspects all denied murdering Ayah. One suspect said her own father should be blamed while another claimed he had not seen the other three since 2007.

The killing of Ayah Baradiyya had shocked police and the local community. She was from the southern West Bank town of Surif, near Hebron.

Her body was found in a deserted well by Israel's separation wall in fields three kilometers from her home. It took two days to retrieve her remains.

Ibrahim Baradhiyya and his wife reported their daughter missing in 2010 saying she had left home on April 20, heading to Hebron University where she was studying, but never returned. They said they feared she had been kidnapped, and wondered if she had run away.

One of the suspects was Ayah’s 37-year-old uncle. Days after the discovery of Ayah's body, he told police that he murdered his niece with the help of three friends.

"On Tuesday, 20 April 2010, when Ayah was heading to Hebron University, we took her in the trunk. She was shouting loudly, so one of my friends sprayed her with gas and she fainted. I drove to the Khallat Salman area where we tied a rope around her body and dropped her into the well," he told police in May.


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