by Sarah Souli

Update November 2022 – The investigation was published under the title “A Matter of Honor” at the Atavist magazine.

An investigation into the 2018 murders of three migrant Afghan women on the Greek-Turkish border.

Athens-based journalist Sarah Souli investigated the murders of Fahima and her two teenage daughters, Rabiya and Farzana, whose bodies were found in Evros in October 2018. Like thousands of migrants before them, the women made their way from their home country of Afghanistan, to Turkey, and onto Greece, where their lives were cut short just a dozen meters into Europe.

I had already been reporting on pushbacks in Evros for several years, and was on assignment in the region a few weeks after Fahima, Rabiya, and Farzana were murdered. Their brutal story followed me through the camps, hospitals, and villages as I was working. At the time, several other Greek and Western women had been murdered, and their stories got the attention and outrage they deserved, not to mention legal recourse. That did not happen with the women in Evros – I found that unacceptable. Migrants and refugees are already so poorly treated in Europe (plus women and children face their own particular hardships), and this final lack of humanity seemed grossly unfair. Honestly, I chose this project because I was angry, as good a motivating source for a journalist as anything else.

Sarah Souli, investigative Journalist

Four years later, the case remained unsolved; by tracing the women’s journey, Souli tried to find clues both about the crime itself, and provide a sense of closure and justice for the three women.

The investigation “A Matter of Honor” which has been published at the Atavist magazine won the Madeline Dane Ross Award by the Overseas Press Club of America (March 2023).