Parents Kill Their Daughter For Refusing Arranged Marriage (VIDEO Included)

Shafilea Ahmed LONDON (AP) — The girl was murdered by her Pakistani parents for her Western ways. And it was her little sister who bravely told jurors how her mother and father suffocated the 17-year-old with a plastic bag — gripping testimony that led to her parents’ murder conviction on Friday.


Justice Roderick Evans sentenced Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, to life in prison for killing their daughter, Shafilea, in 2003. The couple — first cousins from the Pakistani village of Uttam — were ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.

“She was being squeezed between two cultures — the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her,” Evans said during the sentencing at the Chester Crown Court in northwest England.

In Britain, more than 25 women have been killed in so-called “honor killings” in the past decade. Families have sometimes lashed out at their children on the belief that they have brought their household shame by becoming too westernized or by refusing a marriage.

Shafilea was only 10 when she began to rebel against her parents’ strict rules, according to prosecutor Andrew Edis. The young girl would hide make-up, false nails and western clothes at school, changing into conservative clothes before her parents picked her up.

But it was the last year of her life that proved to be the most traumatic. During the trial that began in May, jurors heard from Shafilea’s younger sister, Alesha, who said she witnessed the murder when she was 12.

After an argument about Shafilea’s dress, her parents pushed her down on a couch, stuffed a thin white plastic bag into her mouth and held their hands over her mouth and nose until she died, Alesha testified.

As she was struggling, her mother said, “just finish it here,” according to Alesha’s testimony. Although Shafilea’s other siblings contradicted the testimony, the last-minute emergence of a diary convinced jurors.

The diary belonged to a friend of one of Shafilea’s other sisters, Mev. In it, the friend relays conversations she had with the sister about the night Shafilea died — details that supported Alesha’s testimony.

“The strong message goes out and should be very clear: If you engage in honor killings — if you engage in forced marriages — you will be caught and brought to justice,” said Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organization.

When Shafilea became a teenager, she became interested in boys — something that spurred punishment from her parents. School officials alerted social services in October 2002 after Shafilea came to school with injuries to her face. That same month, Shafilea told a social worker that she was to be married in Pakistan in February 2003.

In January 2003, she ran away, telling friends her parents would not leave her alone. She eventually returned. In February 2003, she ran away again and pleaded with British authorities to allow her to move out of her parents’ house because, she said, they were abusive and trying to force her into an arranged marriage.

Some of Shafilea’s own words also proved compelling to jurors. In the application form to move out, she said she had suffered from regular domestic violence from the age of 15. “One parent would hold me whilst the other hit me,” she said.

Her father snatched her off the streets, however, in the same month as the application. He bundled her into a car and took her to Pakistan against her will, Alesha said. In protest, Shafilea drank bleach and was brought back to Britain in May 2003. She spent eight weeks in the hospital trying to recover from damage done to her throat.

Even in her weakened and desperate state, Shafilea’s parents were relentless. One night, her parents complained she was wearing a T-shirt and wasn’t properly covered up, according to Alesha. The younger sister said Shafilea struggled and struggled as her parents held her down.

Alesha described that after the attack, her siblings ran upstairs and she watched as her father carried Shafilea’s body to the car wrapped in a blanket. She was reported missing shortly after, with her parents making a teary-eyed media appeal for information leading to their daughter.

But police were suspicious — so much so that they bugged the house. Shafilea’s decomposed remains were eventually discovered in the River Kent in Cumbria in February 2004, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Alesha provided the key testimony.

Last year, the British government’s Forced Marriage Unit investigated more than 1,400 cases of forced marriages, most of which occur in Muslim communities. Britain is home to more than 1.8 million Muslims, most from Pakistani roots.

Credit: Video by Aljazeera

  1. iheoma martins Reply

    Muslims and their brutal way of life, so sorry shafilea, may ur gentle soul rest in perfect peace, at least you died with your honor and I think your parents succeeded in upholding their religion and promoting boko haram,living in a western land,enjoying western developments and still yet saying No to western education and culture. What a shame and self contradictions. May Almighty Allah save nd deliver you guys, coconut heads(sigh)

    • Giliad Rosen Reply

      I have sympathy for her parents. The parents are the victims in this. Although, they should not be forcing marriage upon their child, as forcing a child to marry is unIslamic… however, if the child was as evil as it seems she was, wearing unrespectable clothing, the parents should have just left her in Pakistan, bringing her to England was a mistake, and her evil younger sister who helped put her parents in jail deserves the miserable life she has awaiting her… what a really sad story.

  2. jemeel Reply

    mr. Martins it quite a shame dat u r generalizin dis to d whole muslims, wat they did was d pakistanish culture. I am a muslim, n my Islam didn’t teach me violence or killings of inocent lyf…

  3. Salihu Reply

    Ihioma martins, pls mind ur words when u are trying to analyse certain issues in relation to islam. You dont use the culture of certain self centered individuals to attribute to the practice of islam. Always try to make investigations from the learneds b4 drawing conclusion to any matter. The fact remains that forced marriages are not islamic practices, they are certain elements of the arab culture that has infilterated some muslim communities. I, as a muslim from the north central region of nigeria does not believe nor practice such, neither is such practice done in my area yet i am a muslim. Pls, when issues affect cultures, make ur analysis be restricted to cultures only and dont attach them to religion. Remember that BH that u r quoting here r all not islamic but cultural. I knw very well that there r muslim igbos and yorubas, do they have the BH and these kind of practices?

    • Prince Golden Reply

      Shut up. Boko Haram is pure muslim jihad. Fuck all muslim.

  4. SANI MASHI Reply


  5. Giliad Rosen Reply

    I recommend that anyone who is thinking about raising their children in the West understand that your money is not clean, and unclean money leads to unclean children. This girl got what they deserved. I have nothing but sympathy for the parents, the parents are the real victims in all of this.

    It is articles like this that make me thankful that my children are not being raised in the west.

    • Prince Golden Reply

      @ Sani Mashi, Holy Spirit must burn u. U barberian muslim. All muslim are miscrants including Mohammed.

  6. Marymoore Reply

    I think d parent shld ve brought d girl up in way of islaim n leave it at dat than forceing her,helping God to do his work i strongly believe if u bring up ur child in d way of the Lord n she is not following try praying n u will c d wonders it will do. For seeing u ve done ur part will gladly step in,intend of forceing.

  7. bukky Reply

    This is the most barbaric action I’ve ever heard of. These parents are animals and not human beings. Nobody has an excuse to snuff life out of another no matter what. These parents are failures in their parenting and because they discovered this, they tried to cover up their failure. They are evil and anybody who supports them is equally evil. Did any religion teach that you can commit murder to help God/Allah? They will pay for their sins in this life and the hereafter

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