Honour killing over hijab gets life term in Canada

June 16th, 2010 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, June 16 (IANS) Just days after a Punjab man was jailed for life in honour killing of his daughter-in-law, a Pakistani father, along with his son, here too faces life behind bars for honour killing of his young girl for her refusal to wear the hijab.

In what was a first case of honour killing among Pakistanis in North America three yeas ago, 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez was strangulated by her father Muhammad Parvez, 57, in the family home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga in December 2007.

Appearing in a court here Tuesday, both Parvez and his son Waqas, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of Aqsa.

The duo, who were arrested after the sensational murder, admitted before the jude that they killed the grade-11 student by compressing her neck.

After strangulating his daughter for bringing shame to his family by refusing to wear the hijab, Parvez had called police to confess his crime.

Police found his daughter’s blood on his hands. The DNA of his son Waqas was also found the girl’s finger nails. The girl was found lying fainted. She was rushed hospital and put on the life support system. But she didn’t survive.

The court heard how the young girl ran away twice to avoid living under strict Muslim customs at her home. She was not allowed to wear jeans and hang out with friends or talk to boys on the phone.

When she returned home, her father, a local taxi driver, allowed her to wear jeans and shirts, but forbade her from speaking to boys and hanging out with friends.

Just days before she was strangulated, Aqsa had told her school mates that her father had sworn in the Koran to kill her if she ever ran away from home again.

When questioned by police, the girl’s mother admitted that her husband thought his daughter’s behaviour had brought disgrace to the family.

“This is my insult. My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked,” Parvez had told his wife.

Shockingly, the court also heard how the girl’s brother - who is a tow truck driver - in a electronically-recorded conversation with a fellow driver had admitted choking his sister till she died.

The fellow driver named Steve Warda also revealed that the girl’s brother had asked him to get a gun to kill his sister.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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