The phrase “honor killing” doesn’t show up anywhere in this article, but it sound remarkably as if a much-abused young British woman was murdered because she refused to marry the Pakistani man her parents had picked for her:
A coroner this morning returned a verdict of unlawful killing on a Muslim teenager who vanished from home after refusing an arranged marriage, saying she was the victim of a “very vile” murder.
Ian Smith, East and South Cumbria coroner, said the way Shafilea Ahmed’s body had been hidden in a riverbank miles from home convinced him she was murdered, and said she probably died shortly after going missing.
After the verdict Cheshire Police vowed to continue investigating the death of the “beautiful and vulnerable young girl” until the killer or killers had been brought to justice.
Miss Ahmed, 17, disappeared four months after being taken to Pakistan by her parents to meet a potential husband. She refused to go ahead with the ceremony and even drank bleach in protest.
Her inquest heard she regularly suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her parents and was terrified about being forced into marriage.
The inquest heard that early in 2003 she ran away from home, only to be coaxed back on the promise she would not be taken to Pakistan. However, that trip went ahead and she was introduced to a suitor, but refused to go ahead with any wedding.
In September, Miss Ahmed, who wore western clothes and wanted to be a solicitor, disappeared from her home in Warrington, Cheshire.
Four months later her decomposed body was found washed up on a flooded riverbank at Sedgwick, near Kendal. She had been strangled or smothered.
Her parents, Iftikhar and Farzana, were arrested on suspicion of kidnap, and other members of her family were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. All were released without charge.