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South Africa Mourns Deaths Of Marikana Miners; El Clasico is Renewed with Super Cup Clash Between Barca, Real Madrid

Aired August 23, 2012 - 16:00   ET


FIONNUALA SWEENEY, HOST: And tonight on Connect the World a nation in mourning. Ceremonies are held across South Africa for the 34 miners shot dead at Marikana one week ago.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

SWEENEY: As South Africa grieves we ask if the country's minerals have become more valuable than its people.

Also tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to see -- to disappear because I don't want my father or my brother or my cousin to kill me.


SWEENEY: When asking for a divorce can lead to death. Our series on honor murders continues.

And you'll have to listen carefully as we speak to the man with the lowest voice in the world.

Memorial services were held across South Africa today to remember the 44 people, 34 people rather, killed in a bitter labor dispute. The violence at the Marikana mine has brought back memories of an ugly era in South Africa. From Johannesburg Nkepile Mabuse has more on a day of mourning.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: We've witnessed some heart wrenching scenes at this memorial service for the 34 miners that were gunned down by the police last week Thursday, not very far from where we're standing right now. Wives and mothers crying uncontrollably, people feinting, overcome by emotion. It was a day of mourning, but it was also a day to reflect.

A nation mourns its dead. For some, it's all too much: women widowed by what many are calling the worst post-apartheid massacre in South Africa.

Police say they used force in self-defense last week when they shot dead 34 Lonmin platinum mine workers demanding better pay. Most of them were rock drill operators armed with clubs, knives, and police say guns as well.

The colleagues they left behind say they're not backing down.

ECSON KELEKWENG, MINE WORKER (through translator): We are heartbroken. We've lost our friends, family members and co-workers. We will not return to work until we get what we've asked for.

MABUSE: For nearly a week, they demanded a pay increase from 500 US dollars a month to $1,500. But their illegal protest had already turned deadly before the police shooting. 10 people were killed, including two cops hacked to death allegedly by the striking miners.

President Jacob Zuma who visited the area Wednesday has set up a commission of inquiry to determine how a wage dispute degenerated into this.

The battle for members between the established National Union of Mine Workers and the more militant Association for Mine Workers and Construction Union is being blamed for the violence that has characterized this wage dispute.

Both sides blame the other for using violence to intimidate members. Now CNN has obtained evidence that workers are being threatened with their lives. This man can be heard here intimidating a worker we were about to interview.

"If you treasure your life," he says, "you will not speak to these people. It is devils like you who have made the police come after us."

He refused to grant us an interview, but confirmed that he's an UMCREW (ph) member. I asked the union's president about allegations his members are using death threats and intimidation to grow their organization.

JOSEPH MATHUNJWA, UNION LEADER: Did you any person wearing our t- shirt pulling the trigger? Did you ever seen anyone have a (inaudible) and chopping someone? So there's -- it's baseless, those -- I mean, those allegations.

MABUSE: We've just reported one of your members threatening another member who wanted to speak to us with his life.

MATHUNJWA: I was not there. That's what you heard. So don't ask me that question.

MABUSE: This is not the end of the story. Unrest at Lonmin appears to be spreading. Workers at at least two mines in the area, including the world's largest platinum producer, Anglo-American has made similar demands.

As South Africa mourns, the violence, intimidation and terrible living conditions of miners are painting a worrying image of a country that once filled the world with hope.

There's still so much anger in this community: anger, hurt, and hatred towards the police. The community insisted that no police officer be allowed anywhere close to the venue of the memorial service, that plea was heated after the service. Striking miners gathered. And they continued to protest. They determined they're not going to go back to work until their wages are increased.

Nkepile Mabuse, CNN, Marikana, South Africa.


SWEENEY: Well, workers at the Marikana mine are paid between $3,500 and $6,000 a year and they're calling for salaries to be trebled. The mining sector accounts for more than 8.5 percent of South Africa's gross domestic product. Half a million workers depend on it for jobs, so it is an important sector with a global impact.

South Africa produces 75 percent of the world's platinum. And we all come across it every day. It's used mainly in jewelery, dental alloys, and in catalytic converters in cars. And the violence has helped drive up the price of the metal to its highest since early May. This chart shows the price over the last month. And you can clearly see the increase over the last week.

Well, many South Africans are upset and angry over the violence. Here's a snap shot of what some people are saying in Johannesburg.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just so disgusting. And it's traumatizing it's happening in South Africa after all that Mandela put through. And we thought that apartheid was over and now we're feeling (inaudible). And it's just -- it's unbearable to watch. And it's -- it's just so shocking. And it just makes you just want to cry when you just saw what happened on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I would probably blame the unions. I think it's a battle between the two unions and they're trying to make a name for themselves, to try -- at expense of people's lives. So I just -- I just think it's sad that it had to happen like this. And also people resorting to violence, it shows that really it's not a good thing.

But over above that, I just think that -- I feel sorry for the people -- you know, the families of the people that died. It shouldn't have happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's quite striking as every day we sing our national anthem saying united we shall stand and yet that type of thing happened in our own country.


SWEENEY: Well, the violence could be viewed as a collision between South Africa's economic and political problems. And for more on that, I'm joined by John Capel, a head of a church linked organization in South Africa. His recent report described conditions for some of South Africa's platinum miners as appalling.

Thanks for joining us there from Johannesburg.

As we just heard there from people in Johannesburg at least one person blaming the unions. Who do you hold responsible for the deaths?

JOHN CAPEL, EXEC. DIR, BENCH MARKS FOUNDATION: Well, I think it's a complex issue and one needs to put it into context, first of all. We've just a major research project that is the Bench Marks Foundation on all the platinum mining houses in Rustenburg, in that whole area. So we've covered Lonmin's, Aquarius, Anglo Platinum, Impala (ph), and a host of others.

What we find is that all these mining houses to varying degrees in terms of the labor policies number one, offer work as a living (inaudible) and workers end up living in shacks in informal settlements, tin huts.

Secondly, that there's a high level of migrant labor in the area.

And thirdly, that there's a high negative impact on surrounding communities in terms of their health, their welfare, their livelihood.

And so all this contributes to this problem. So I wouldn't put the blame at the door of the unions, yes. There are two competing unions in the area, but the issue is over wages and living conditions and the appalling conditions that mine workers live under.

SWEENEY: And in those appalling conditions, is that reflected in their demand for such a high increase, trebling their waters?

CAPEL: Well, yes. I was listening to an analyst (inaudible). He said, well, you know, these rock drillers, they do the hardest job in the industry. They carry 25 kilograms of machinery to break up the rock. And the truly -- you know, it's possible to increase their wages. And they do the most difficult and hardest job within the industry. So I think it needs to be looked at.

I think it's a serious socioeconomic problem.

SWEENEY: That stretches just beyond the miners, goes deep into society in South Africa.

So how much responsibility is on the mining industry itself, the companies and their CEOs to address this situation. And to much do you believe is the responsibility of the government?

CAPEL: Well, I think, you know, that the companies pay a lot of lip service. They use words like they're promote community development, that they're ethical, et cetera, et cetera. But when it comes to the crunch of it we find that these workers -- if you're living in a shack without running water, or electricity, or proper heating, we have extreme temperatures in this country, it's a problem.

The housing policy of the mining houses is put onto the communities. The government also have a big role to play in helping to sort this out...

SWEENEY: And is it assuming the role that you believe it needs to play?

CAPEL: Is it assuming the role?

SWEENEY: Is the government.

CAPEL: I don't think it is assuming -- yeah, if I -- I think I misunderstood your question.

SWEENEY: Is the government assuming the role that you believe it needs to play, the big role that you can say that it needs to play? I mean, Jacob Zuma, the president was there yesterday. Did his visit achieve anything?

CAPEL: No, I don't think so. I mean, I think these communities also want an independent inquiry. I think government needs to start looking at how does empowerment trickle down to a majority of people instead of a few political elites. And I think that's the fundamental problem.

We see a growing inequality in society, a growing gap in incomes, a growing gap in terms of health care. And so there's a whole number of problems that exacerbate the situation.

SWEENEY: And my question is going forward do you think that the government in South Africa as well as the mining leaders, and indeed other industry leaders willing to put their heads together and try and move South Africa out of what seems to be a very dark period in its economic, financial, socioeconomic outlook at the moment?

CAPEL: Yes, I think you know it's a shock to the country. If they take this serious and they do an investigation into the whole mining industry and not just what happened at Marikana, because as you said on your bulletin earlier, the other workers at other mining halls is complaining too. And in fact, they have been for the last year-and-a-half. And there have been a number of community protests in and around all these mining areas where communities have actually marched on the mining houses for employment, for a better life, for better health care, for better welfare, et cetera.

So a lot needs to be done both by the industry and by government.

SWEENEY: John Capel, we'll leave it there. Thank you for joining us from CNN Johannesburg.

And still to come tonight, fierce clashes across Syria as the civil war wages on. A human rights group is now accusing both sides of atrocities.

It was the deadliest attack Norway had seen since the Second World War, so why is a verdict for Anders Breivik only coming now? We'll look at how Norway has dealt with this high profile case.

And in sport, new boss, new season, but same old rivarly. Can Barcelona beat Real Madrid tonight? All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


SWEENEY: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Fionnuala Sweeney. Welcome back.

Now Syrian activists say the regime is trying to crush resistance in Damascus once and for all. Major clashes reported in many parts of the capital today. Activists say troops are carrying out summary executions. Fierce fighting reported elsewhere as well leading to at least 155 deaths across the country.

Jim Clancy is monitoring the violence from neighboring Lebanon.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was one of the bloodiest days in what has been a week that has been marked by triple digit death tolls each and every day. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad was clearly on the attack. In the embattled city of Aleppo the regime's fighter jets pounded the city, dropping bombs on the Free Syrian Army as well as civilian positions.

In Daraa, tanks were seen moving in on the outskirts of that city, expected to go on the attack as well as civilians scurried for shelter.

Amnesty International issued a report charging the regime with targeting its own civilians in an act that could be construed to be a war crime.

DONATELLA ROVERA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SR. CRISIS RESPONSE ADVISER: In the 10 days that I spent in Aleppo, I looked at case after case of families, people who were killed in their homes, out when they were buying food, especially when they were queuing up to buy bread and people were even killed in the very places where they'd gone for safety, people who had fled their homes and were staying with friends and family, or were staying in schools, those places, too, came under attack.

CLANCY: Amnesty International also pointed a finger at the Free Syrian Army, saying their fighters were guilty of war crimes for executing prisoners seized during combat.

In the very corner of the country, along the border with Iraq, the Free Syrian Army claimed that it had pushed back regime forces and taken control of important checkpoints right at the Iraqi border. They said they were going to try new tactics, different from what was used in Aleppo so their forces could not be as easily targeted by the regime and its superiority in terms of air power.

Meantime, in Turkey U.S. officials joined talks that are expected to focus on the threat posed by the suspected chemical arsenal being held by Syria. They were also expected to focus on the worst case scenario, a scenario that many Syrians could contend they're living every day.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Beirut.


SWEENEY: One of the other big stories we're following is Tropical Storm Isaac. Residents of the Caribbean and the east coast of America are preparing for a rough time as the storm is expected to hit land in the coming days. So let's get an update on Isaac's progress now with Jenny Harrison -- Jenny.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, Fionnuala, this is certainly a storm which is moving fairly rapidly throughout the Caribbean. You can see it here very closely, very clearly on the satellite. What you can also see is it's not a very organized storm. So we can't, for example, make out very clearly the eye of this storm. And unless it does organize itself, it is likely to stay as a tropical storm, although it does look as if in the next 24 to 48 hours it could, just as it heads across Haiti, actually develop into a minimum strength hurricane.

But that aside, winds of course are a huge concern. But in actual fact, it is going to be the rains as well. The hurricane watch is in place. And of course the tropical storm warning is actually underneath this red line you can see. So the Dominican Republic, the south coast, and all of Haiti is now under a hurricane watch for this storm as it heads ever closer.

It is the rain that is going to be one of the main concerns with this storm system. Very heavy amounts, particularly across the Dominican Republic, but of course also heading across into Haiti. This is the next 48 hours. And you can see across pretty much all of the Dominican Republic, there will be some rain. And in most areas, very heavy, as much as 25 centimeters.

But if it continues on this track, heading a little bit to the north through Haiti, then it should be spared some of the heavier ran that could actually come down. But of course remember it is so much in Haiti about this. It is about these hundreds of thousands of people who are so very vulnerable. They're in, still, the sheltered accommodation, just literally shelters, canvas. And then we have all of this deforested hillside. So that means mudslides are very, very likely with the amount of rain that's coming in.

And this, for example, is the sort of temporary shelter we're talking about.

Now our Gary Tuchman arrived in Port au Prince just a few hours ago, Gary, and I can see behind you it looks fairly clear. So what preparations are underway? And I also wondered if the people on the ground in Haiti, those in the shelter accommodation, if they actually even know that there's a storm like this heading their way.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDNET: Well, Jenny, here's what incredible and sad to our viewers who were just listening to what you had to say, they now know far more about this tropical storm or hurricane than these people behind me. This is a section of Port au Prince called Eca (ph). There are thousands of people who live in tents and shanties behind me. And they've lived here pretty much for the last two-and-a-half years since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 killing 300,000 people.

This is completely vulnerable to mudslides and even a little bit of rain. And we've gone there with our translators through Eca (ph) and asked people if they know about a tropical storm or hurricane named Isaac on its way towards Haiti. And each and every one of the people we've talked to says, no, they knew nothing about it. They said it's sunny out. They didn't know one thing about it.

They don't have TVs here. They don't have internet. They don't have radios. Certainly, lots of people in this country know about the storm. They are in some shelters. There are shelters in churches, shelters in police stations, but these people aren't going to shelters. These people have found out about the storm, but they're saying this is all we have. We're not going abandon our shanties. We have nowhere else to go. We don't want anyone taking them away from us. It'll rain, but then it'll dry out. And we can deal with it.

Little do they know if there is a devastating tropical storm or hurricane it could be really awful for the people who have been homeless for so long.

Fionnuala, back to you.

SWEENEY: All right. Gary Tuchman there live from Haiti. He was speaking with Jenny Harrison.

We're going to take a short break now, but when we come back, it's known as El Clasico. And in any language it means rivalry. We'll have a preview next.


SWEENEY: You're watching Connect the World. Welcome back. I'm Fionnuala Sweeney.

Now one of the biggest rivalries in world football will be renewed at the bottom of the hour. Barcelona and Real Madrid squaring off in the Spanish Super Cup.

Don Riddell joining us now for a preview and what is different about this meeting between these two old rivals.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, all these meetings are exciting. They're much hyped. And they usually live up to that hype, Fionnuala. I think the big thing that's really different this season is that Barcelona have a new manager, Pep Guardiola is going. Tito Vilanova is in charge. But apart from that I think an awful lot is going to be the same.

Barcelona have made a great start to the season. They won their first game 5-1 against Real Sociedad. They looked absolutely brilliant. They won this fixture last year. In fact, they've won it for the last three years. But what's also different is that Real Madrid are now the league champions. When they've played each other in the past three years Real hadn't been.

One thing that I think we'll hope will be different this year is when they played in this particular fixture this time last year, Jose Mourinho poked Tito Vilanova in the eye. Vilanova was only the assistant coach at the time. I think we will be hoping Jose keeps his hands to himself this time around.

SWEENEY: Yeah, everybody will be.

And what else is going on in terms of the buildup to the London Paralympics?

RIDDELL: Well, a lot of the athletes are actually arriving today, or they have been arriving at London's main airport today. Some 4,000 plus athletes are arriving to take part in the Paralympics. We start on Wednesday. But not a great start to the games for the Jordanian team. They've actually sent two of their power lifters and a trainer home today, because they've been charged with sexual assault in Northern Ireland where the team was training.

The Jordanian team has a zero tolerance policy to misconduct. They're going to have to return in October for a court hearing. And this really is very embarrassing for the Jordanian team and the government, which was hoping to make a big splash at these games.

SWEENEY: All right. We'll leave it there. Don Riddell, thank you as always.

And please join Don for World Sport in about an hour for the latest on that Barcelona-Real Madrid match and his visit to the bathroom at Boston's Fenway Park. Sport and so much more.

Still to come on Connect the World, as the world awaits the sentencing of Anders Behring Breivik, we look at how the judicial system is handling this delicate case of a mass murderer.

And meet the man who can sing notes so low, they can only be heard by elephants.


SWEENEY: A warm welcome to our viewers across Europe and around the world. I'm Fionnuala Sweeney, and these are the latest world headlines from CNN.

Syrian opposition activists say at least 155 people were killed across the country today. The regime says it's now recaptured several Christian neighborhoods in the heart of Aleppo after days of heavy clashes.

Hundreds turned out for a memorial at a platinum mine in South Africa for the 44 people kill in recent violence, 34 of them killed when police opened fire on striking miners last week. South African president Jacob Zuma has ordered an inquiry.

French president Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel have been meeting in Berlin to discuss the Eurozone crisis and whether to give Greece extra time to deliver public sector cuts. Mr. Hollande said they want Greece to remain in the eurozone and will continue to support weaker economies, like Spain.

Residents of the Caribbean and the East Coast of America are preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac. It is expected to hit land on Friday and could hit Florida ahead of the Republican Party's convention on Monday.

Now, last summer, Norway experienced its deadliest attack since the second World War. On July 22nd, Anders Behring Breivik went on a bombing and shooting rampage that killed 77 people. After a ten-week trial, Norway will hear whether Breivik is insane or not.

On Friday, an Oslo court will decide whether Breivik is to be secured in a psychiatric union rather than a prison cell. Diana Magnay has more.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little more than a year ago, Anders Behring Breivik unleashed what his own lawyer called an inferno of violence that wiped out 77 lives in a matter of hours.

It started with a car bomb in Oslo's government district that killed eight people. The self-described right-wing extremist then drove to the island of Utoya, 19 miles away, where he gunned down 69 others, most of them teens at a political summer camp.

Charged with voluntary homicide and committing acts of terrorism, the 33-year-old defendant appeared defiant at times during his ten-week trial, bragged about what he accomplished, and said he never expected to survive.

The trial forced Norwegians to reflect on the rampage in painful detail. Many of the survivors testifying meters from the man who slaughtered their friends. Breivik himself justifying his actions as necessary to save Norway from Islamic colonization.

The verdict depends on how the panel of five judges assess his mental health. The prosecution says his sanity remains in doubt and that the best place for him is a psychiatric unit. His defense says he knew exactly what he was doing, but is seeking acquittal.

GEIR LIPPESTAD, BREIVIK DEFENSE ATTORNEY (through translator): I suggest the following, that the prosecution's plea that Anders Behring Breivik should be transferred to compulsory mental health care should not be accepted and that Anders Behring Breivik should be treated as leniently as possible.

MAGNAY: Earlier this month, Norway's chief of police stepped down after an independent commission detailed a catalog of police and intelligence failures. Their conclusion, that those errors cost the police half an hour in getting to Utoya and that dozens of lives might have been saved.

Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg has said he will stay on to implement the new security measures outlined in the report, despite calls in the press for him to quit.

JENS STOLTENBERG, PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY (through translator): It's not possible for a report from a commission to change what happened on July 22nd last year. Nevertheless the report is very important. It is important because it gives us facts and knowledge and understanding of what happened.

MAGNAY: But Friday's verdict will not mean closure. More likely, the start of a lengthy appeals process whichever way the judges rule.

Diana Magnay, CNN, Oslo.


SWEENEY: So, on Friday, Breivik will hit the headlines worldwide, but it is the victims that must be remembered. After the attack, survivors were determined not to let Breivik divide Norway, and we want to remind you, now, of their stories.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important that we stay together and keep strong. We can't let a coward like that stop us. Because going onto an island with only youth and killing them, and they have no way to escape, that's a cowardly act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's about 20 to 30 us trying to swim over. I saw a few of them being shot in the water. And it was a very powerful water. You could see the water breaking around, and you could see whenever the water turned red.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm glad I'm alive, extremely happy. I now just want to go home to my family and relax.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We suddenly felt a barrage of glass hit us from behind. We were then told to run through the back door. That's when we saw that everything was blown up. People said there were bombs around, and I don't really know what's going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want to be silenced. We're going to continue, we're going to continue the struggle and we're going to continue doing what we do. We want to make the world a better place and we want to continue with our politics. We want to show them that they're not going to shoot us to silence.


SWEENEY: Five days after Breivik killed 77 people, Norway's prime minister said the country would meet the attacks with, quote, "more democracy and more openness," and this included keeping their liberal justice system alive and avoiding a knee-jerk sentence.

With the world's media watching, they held a ten-week trial. For more on this, let's talk now to Professor Mads Andenas, a professor of law at Oslo University. Thank you very much for joining us. Has Norway's judicial system ever had to cope with anything on the scale of this?

MADS ANDENAS, PROFESSOR, OSLO UNIVERSITY: Of course not. This has been a terrible case, a big case. And this is a very small community and everybody's affected. Everybody knows somebody who has been harmed, who has died, or suffered in this terrible, terrible tragedy.

SWEENEY: And how has the judicial system, do you believe, held up under this tragedy?

ANDENAS: I think the aim has been to absolutely follow all the possible guarantees that a defendant may have under our criminal justice system and, if anything, on the side of the rights of the defendant. And I think that has been the case. Of course, the defendant here wanted to use this as a possibility to propagate his own views, which are extremist views.

On the other hand, if the judges had cut him short and not allowed him to, as you can under Norwegian criminal procedure, add your own questions as a defendant to the witnesses and then to have your statements at different points of the procedure, well then, I expect that with hindsight, one would have regretted that.

Now, one has bent over backwards to grant the guarantees possible to the defendant, and I think that in the longer term, that clearly is what will be -- what is the best solution.

SWEENEY: And Professor, in terms of bending over backwards, as you put it, is that why the trial was so long, even though Breivik admitted to the killings?

ANDENAS: No, I think that had many different reasons. One thing was also the respect of the different victims, here. One wanted every single killing to be documented. These different, terrible acts, which were committed in this short period of time.

And also, in a very transparent trial. Press had full access. There was broadcasting of large parts of the trial. I think that gives the kind of transparency, the public access, which could give confidence that this has been a fair trial. But also, there's no room for conspiracy theories underlying when you have this kind of thorough and transparent process.

SWEENEY: A final quick question. Do you believe Norway's remained united, as united as it was in the days after this massacre, amid reports that the country has become divided over immigration issues, for example?

ANDENAS: Well, I think that Breivik's idea was, of course, to challenge immigration. He has a racist program, a racist motivation, what he has done. And of course, it's now very important that one does not respond to that in the way he would have wished us to respond to that.

And I do really hope that we have a compact over these very core and important issues, and that we've managed to keep that in this very, very difficult period.

SWEENEY: All right, Professor Andenas, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. And of course, we await the verdict, which will take place in the next -- in less than 12 hours from now. Of course, stay with CNN for that.

Still to come, though, on CONNECT THE WORLD, a husband says his wife deserves to die, and members of her own family agree. How one Syrian woman living in Britain managed to escape a terrifying situation.


SWEENEY: Now, the latest in our special week-long series highlighting so-called "honor" crimes, crimes that are anything but honorable. Today's story involves a Syrian woman whose life fell apart after moving abroad. She went to great lengths to escape an abusive husband, but loss her entire family in the process. Atika Shubert brings us the harrowing story full of heartbreak.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zara lives in Britain, but I cannot tell you where. In fact, Zara is not her real name. She's so fearful of being identified that I can't even show you Zara's hand. And she told me her story on the promise that CNN would obscure her face and her voice.

Her story begins here in Britain when she moved here with her husband and two young sons. Here, she says, her husband became violent.

ZARA, "HONOR" VIOLENCE VICTIM: He started raping me, which affected me mentally, caused me lots of stress, and affected also the relationship between me and my son. And I couldn't -- unfortunately, I couldn't know -- I couldn't speak out, because it was not easy for me. I learned that to speak against your husband, to say about your private life to anyone, it is big shame.

SHUBERT: She decided to ask for a divorce. She says her husband initially agreed but insisted they both go back to their home in the Middle East to explain to their families.

ZARA: He gathered all his family.


SHUBERT (on camera): Take your time.

SHUBERT (voice-over): When she arrived at his village, she was shocked to find his entire extended family, more than 60 people, waiting for her.

ZARA: She told to me, "My son is a doctor. My son is a doctor. You should walk and you hold your face up. Who are you to cheat on my son? Who are you?" And after that, she told me, "I will look after them. You don't deserve to be a mother. You don't deserve to be a mother."

And my son was looking at my face. His mother called me by very bad names.


ZARA: She called me prostitute in front of my sons. It was really terrible, terrible moment. I -- I couldn't forget it.


SHUBERT: Then she says her husband issued her death sentence, calling her father, who lived in a neighboring town.

ZARA: He told my father, "If you are a man, clean your shame. If you are a man, kill your daughter."


ZARA: I became like rubbish. Just rubbish. Rubbish. I wanted to die. I wanted to disappear because I don't want my father or my brother or my cousin to kill me. And my son would carry my shame.

SHUBERT: But Zara was lucky. Her father couldn't do it.

ZARA: And my father told my mother, "The problem -- I know she doesn't -- she didn't cheat on her husband. The problem, she brought us is shame, which can't clean even by blood. I know she's innocent, but we can't clean this shame."

My father sent me away, because he knows if he doesn't -- if I stay, I will be killed from my uncles or from my cousin. There is no other option.

SHUBERT (on camera): Britain is Zara's home now, and in the year since she left the Middle East, her husband filed for divorce in her hometown's Sharia court, she says separating her from her children without her consent.

Now, it's an incredible story, and one that's hard to verify. We have seen the court documents, but Zara's caseworkers with the British charity have told us not to contact her husband for a response for fear of triggering a violent reaction.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Zara still fears her husband and her own relatives may kill her. But she doesn't hate them, she says. She sees them as victims of a brutal tradition, one that leading Muslim thinkers insist has no place in Islam. Nonetheless, she has left the religion, a decision her now teenage sons do not agree with.

ZARA: They don't want to have any contact with me. They don't want to hear my voice. I'm not angry with them. But I'm tired. I'm tired from all this -- I'm tired from culture, from religion. I'm tired to be a woman. I'm very tired to be a woman. I'm very tired to be a mother.


SHUBERT: Zara's greatest hope, she told me, is that one day her sons will hear her side of the story.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


SWEENEY: All this week, we've been asking what the world can do to help women like Zara. Our next guest is the director of the group that worked on Zara's case. Diana Nammi heads the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization, a charity based in London. Thanks for joining us from London.

In some ways, Zara was -- and I stress, relatively -- lucky. Could she have done anything differently, do you think?

DIANA NAMMI, IRANIAN AND KURDISH WOMEN'S RIGHTS ORGANIZATION: I thank you for having me tonight. Zara did everything that she could do for having her children, and having actually her family together.

Zara did her best to have the best life for her children, but I am afraid she was alone in that way, and the other people from the husband to the whole family, they were -- and not only them, but they had the support by law and even more power for them than Zara.

SWEENEY: Well, let me ask you, individuals cases, of course, vary, but are there any common denominator warning signs that someone may be a potential victim of an honor killing?

NAMMI: As you say, each case is difference from the others. There are cases that they have been through lots of violence and they had a history of violence, and we have got cases that they have no any kind of violence at home until actually something just hits the triggers and the violence started or the threat of honor killing.

But generally talking about honor killing or generally honor-based violence happening mainly within Middle Eastern communities, South Asian communities, Eastern European, and some parts of the Horn of Africa. So -- and I have to add, Togolese as well.

So, if an women from those communities talking about violence or threat of forced marriage or if they see controlled behavior from family, extreme controlled behavior from families or threat of honor killing or imprisonment, threat of acid attack or some kind of sending back them to other countries, like their home countries, they can be signs of honor- based violence.

SWEENEY: OK. Let me ask you, though, if someone were to report this and to see warning signs in the United Kingdom, and they reported it to a teacher or the social services, that would be a very effective way of going about dealing with something and trying to prevent something.

But if it happens in other societies, it would be difficult, perhaps, to go to a teacher. So, how do you make that transition? How do you help people who are living in a country where there might not be a great structure for helping them?

NAMMI: Oh, it is very difficult, really, to help women in other countries when they have no support by law. And I'm afraid in some countries, like Iran, like many Asian or Middle Eastern countries, law is actually supporting the perpetrators, and it gives the rights to the family to kill them, to even publicly talk about them to teach other women to not have such behaviors that she was killed for.

SWEENEY: Education.

NAMMI: I think it is very difficult -- yes. This is very difficult. We have cases in Iran that those people who helped them, actually, they have been prosecuted.


NAMMI: But those women who live in countries like Europe, they are -- there are -- they have support. And the most important thing is that they call an organization like us, go to social services or police, and it is important for police and social services to take these cases seriously and -- it is very important to take it urgently.


SWEENEY: Diana Nammi, we must leave it there.

NAMMI: And to not share --

SWEENEY: We must leave it there, but thank you very much, indeed, for joining us from CNN in London.

NAMMI: Thank you. Thank you. OK, thanks.

SWEENEY: You've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD, and when we come back, how low can you go?




SWEENEY: Meet the man with the lowest voice in the world, next.


SWEENEY: In recent weeks, we've seen many record-breaking feats. And now, another: the lowest note ever recorded by a human voice has just been released on a new album. Erin McLaughlin reports.





MCLAUGHLIN: But just how low can you go?




MCLAUGHLIN: Not bad, but they're no match for this man, who officially has the lowest voice in the world.


MCLAUGHLIN: That last note is so low, Tim Storm says only animals can hear it.

TIM STORMS, LOWEST VOICE IN THE WORLD: Elephants, yes. I've heard that they communicate like -- they can hear each other over 25 miles or something like that because they -- I think they communicate around four hertz, some frequencies around there.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): You can't hear the low note.

STORMS: Right. Yes, I can feel them, though. Yes, I can kind of -- kind of hear them in my head as far as the sound my vocal chords are making, but as far as frequencies, it's something more or less that I feel.

STORMS (singing): To heaven when I die.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Tim first broke the record in 2000, and it's a record that he keeps breaking.

STORMS: I just get lower the older I get. If you listen to a recording of a person's voice when they're 30 and then a recording of their voice when they're 80, there's a pretty good difference, as far as how low they talk.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tim also holds the record for the widest range. He sings in an unprecedented ten octaves.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): And a normal person's range is, what?

STORMS: Probably two or three octaves.

MCLAUGHLIN: How is this biologically possible?

STORMS: I sang with an a cappella group back in -- well, a few years ago. And one of the concerts we had, there was an ear, nose and throat specialist came to the concert, he's like, "Man, I've got to look at your vocal chords." He said that my vocal chords were about twice as long as normal.


STORMS: Than he's used to seeing, anyway. And the arytenoid muscles around my vocal chords were -- they had a lot more movement to them.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Tim's unique vocal chords made him the ideal candidate for "Tranquility," a choral album that prompted a global talent search for a singer who could hit a low E, the deepest note ever written for a choral composition. Hitting new lows Tim Storms may be, but his career is about to reach new heights.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): I understand you're also doing some voice- over work, as well.


MCLAUGHLIN: You're doing some animation.

STORMS: Possibly. I don't know, we'll see. I went in to do some reads today and see how that goes. But yes, I love doing voice-over work and movie trailers and --

MCLAUGHLIN: I'd like to see that cartoon character.

STORMS: I love doing cartoon voices. My kids love it, too.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


SWEENEY: Great story. I'm Fionnuala Sweeney, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. The world headlines next after this short break.