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Photograph: Photo by vanna44, used under CC0

A German court sentenced a Syrian man to 12 years in prison on Monday for stabbing his pregnant sister to death over her alleged infidelity.

During the trial, 22-year-old Mostafa A, whose full name was withheld in line with German privacy laws, admitted to killing his sister, Ramia A, 30.

According to the ruling, the Syrian man stabbed his sister 15 times with a long kitchen knife, also killing the 23-week-old foetus.

The judge said the crime was an example of a so-called honour killing, an act committed to protect the supposed reputation of a family or community, concerning an alleged affair being carried out by the married sister, who was said to have sent her brother videos of herself having sex.

The trial, taking place in the western German town of Hanau, comes against the backdrop of a fierce debate in Germany about crimes against women perpetrated by immigrants.

Scores of sexual assaults and thefts that occurred in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve have been partially linked to asylum seekers, inflaming an ongoing national debate about the country's migration policy.

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