Pakistani parents found guilty of killing teenaged daughter

August 3rd, 2012 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 3 (IANS) The parents of a Pakistani-origin teenaged girl were Friday found guilty of murdering her because they believed she had brought shame on the family with her “westernised” lifestyle.

The Chester Crown Court heard that Iftikhar Ahmed and his wife Farzana suffocated their “westernised” teenage daughter Shafilea Ahmed, who was just 17, in 2003, the Daily Express reported Friday.

The couple, from Liverpool Road, Warrington, Cheshire, will be jailed for at least 25 years each.

Shafilea’s sister Alesha told the jury her parents pushed the “tiny and weak” Shafilea onto the settee in their house, where she heard her mother say “just finish it here”.

They forced a plastic bag into the teenager’s mouth and beat her before holding their hands over her mouth and nose, killing her in front of their other children.

During the trial, Alesha broke down in tears as she told the court how her parents repeatedly attacked and abused Shafilea.

In February 2003, just before she was drugged and taken to Pakistan to be forced into a marriage she did not want, Shafilea ran away and asked social services to help her find a place to live, the daily said.

In the application, Shafilea said she had suffered violence from the age of 15.

“One parent would hold me whilst the other hit me. I was prevented from attending college and my part-time job,” she wrote.

The application came to nought, and Shafelia was snatched “screaming and terrified” from the street by her father as she made her way to college. Later the same month, she was put on a plane to Pakistan where she drank bleach to “get out” of the arrangement.

During the trial, Shafilea’s sister said the teenager, who was “exceptionally keen to go to university”, was torn between the attraction of a Western lifestyle and her parents demands that she wear traditional clothes and agree to an arranged marriage.

Speaking about the night her sister was murdered in front of her, Alesha said: “You could tell she was gasping for air.”

Shafilea went missing Sep 11, 2003. She was reported missing by a teacher a week later.

Her decomposing body was discovered by workmen in February 2004.

Prior to her death, the teenager went to school with visible injuries and told her teacher Joanne Code that her father had “burned all her textbooks”.

Two post-mortem examinations failed to determine how she died.

Her father, a taxi driver, claimed Shafilea ran away from home in the middle of the night and he never saw her again.

During the three-month trial, her mother repeatedly changed her account, once claiming she saw her husband beat Shafilea on the night of the murder.

She also claimed he had threatened to do the same to her and their other children if she ever asked him what happened to Shafilea.

Shafilea’s father showed no remorse as the verdicts were delivered by the jury after two days of deliberations.

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