Pak woman’s “cultural homicide” over arranged marriage outrages Italian politicians

October 5th, 2010 - 5:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Rome, Oct 5 (ANI): The shocking news of a “cultural homicide”, in which a Pakistani woman died in Italy after being beaten with a brick by her husband for opposing an arranged marriage of her daughter, has outraged a number of politicians in the country.

According to the Telegraph, Begum Shahnaz was killed by her husband, Ahmad Khan Butt, near the north Italian city of Modena, because she defended her daughter, Nosheen, who refused an arranged marriage.

Like her mother, 20-year-old Nosheen Butt also became a victim of male chauvinism, when her 19-year-old brother Umair hit her with a stick, which resulted in her admission to the hospital with a cranial traumatism and a broken arm.

Modena prosecutors’ initial findings revealed that Ahmed Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker, threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother Umair attacked his sister.

“The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her. The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a ‘cultural’ homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime,” the paper quoted deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation, as saying.

The family’s three other children have been taken in by Italian social services, the paper said.

Italian politicians condemned the incident, which was highly similar to the cases of a girl of Pakistani origin in 2006 and a Moroccan girl in 2009 who wanted to lead Western lives with Italian boyfriends.

Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned “arranged marriages and violence against women” on the pretext of “ethnic traditions” that she termed as “medieval practices”.

Politician Isabella Bertolini in Italy’s main conservative party called the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, a “martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism”. (ANI)

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