Honour killing suspected in British woman mystery death in Pakistan

Police in central Pakistan are investigating whether a British woman who recently died under mysterious circumstances at her parents’ home was killed by relatives for marrying the man of her choice, officials said on Thursday.

Many relatives of Samia Shahid, a 28-year-old woman from Bradford, England, who died while visiting her parents in Pakistan's Punjab province, have been questioned, said police officer Afzal Mehdi.

Police were waiting for the report of her autopsy from a forensic laboratory to determine if murder was a cause of death, Mehdi added.

The woman's parents told police the family went to bed and her daughter never woke up. They found her dead with a fluid coming out of her mouth. 

Shahid was once married to her cousin in Punjab but she formed "a relationship" with a Pakistani-British man in Britain after a divorce, police were told by her family.

“We don’t have any conclusive evidence so far,” Mehdi said, “but there appears to be discrepancies in the statements of family members.”

The investigation started after a female British MP of Pakistani origin wrote to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, seeking justice for Shahid.

The man Shahid claimed to be her second husband said she was killed by her parents and other relatives in a so-called honour killing.

There has been an uptick in the incidents of honour killing of women in Pakistan in recent months, prompting the government to propose a tough new law seeking up to the death penalty for such murders.

More than 1,000 women were killed by their male relatives for allegedly bringing shame to the families in 2015, according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Last update: Thu, 28/07/2016 - 13:47
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