Honour ITV: Banaz Mahmod's sister says harrowing murder scenes 'will haunt her for the rest of her life'

BANAZ Mahmod's sister – the inspiration ITV's Honour – says watching her sister's murder scenes 'will haunt her for the rest of her life'.

Payzee Mahmod, 30, has long campaigned to change laws around child marriage in the UK and to raise awareness about honour based abuse.

It comes after her and younger sister Banaz were forced into arranged marriages when they were teenagers.

Banaz's attempts to leave her abusive marriage and her subsequent 'honour killing' at the hands of her father and uncle have become the focus of ITV's new drama Honour.

The two-part series follows the murder investigation headed by Keeley Dawes' plays DCI Caroline Goode.

Understandably, watching the series was hard for Payzee but the scene showing her sister's murder will 'haunt her for life'.

"I was very emotional. You never imagine in your wildest dreams a TV show is going to be made about your life, especially such tragic events from your life," the designer told Stylist.

"As Banaz’s sister I felt very sad to see a re-enactment of her begging for help. It is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life: how much she was screaming out for help but no one heard her or saw her."

Honour will also show how until DCI Goode, police failed to help Banaz including, turning her away five times even though she was afraid for her life.

"I felt passionate about the way DCI Goode did not give up, her dedication and go-getter attitude," Payzee explained.

"On the flip side, seeing the officer who failed Banaz made me angry, because I witnessed this in real life; this is a scene I lived.

"I came in contact with her and I still feel sad and disappointed about the way she treated someone in so much distress."

Payzee described Banaz as her twin and remembered her as a "kind, soft spoken, beautiful, cheeky sweetheart".

"She loved chatting with a cup of tea in her hand, that was our favourite," Payzee remembered.

"She was my guardian angel. The worst and best two years of our lives, when we lived together, plays in my mind every day.

"We found ourselves in such a horrible situation, but together we made the most of it, playing with make-up, blasting music whilst we cleaned the house and sang into the mop."

Payzee added: "She made me whole. I miss her warm hugs, her sweet smile – I just miss her so much."

The activist admitted that she originally wasn't happy that the two-part drama focuses on Ms Hawes’s character Detective Caroline Goode instead of her dead sibling, an Iraqi Kurd.

She told the BBC: “It doesn’t really sit too well with me that that’s the angle they chose to go with because that’s not Banaz’s story.

“That’s somebody else’s story. This is about somebody who lost her life very tragically.”

Honour writer Gwyneth Hughes has been in touch with Payzee to offer her assurances.

Actress Keeley Hawes said last week: “In a time where honour killings are still rife, it is critical to shine a light on such an important subject.

"Banaz Mahmod's story, and DCI Goode's subsequent investigation, is certainly one that needs to be told and I am proud to be a part of it."

Payzee has since said she was "not focusing so much on the angle [from which] the story is told”, but “on the conversations about honour-based abuse that the show will hopefully raise."

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