ITALY: MURDERED PAKISTANI WOMAN'S FATHER SOUGHT
Rome, 14 August (AKI) - Italian police investigating the suspected 'honour killing' of a 20-year-old Pakistani woman are looking for her father and two other male relatives - a brother-in-law and an uncle - in connection with the murder. The body of the woman, Hina Saleem, was found buried in the garden of her parents' home in Sarezzo, near the northern Italian city of Brescia on Saturday. Her throat had been slit.
The woman's disappearance was reported by her Italian boyfriend, a 33-year carpenter, identified as Giuseppe in news reports.
The couple began their relationship a year ago against the wishes of Saleem's father Muhammad, against whom Hina had pressed violent abuse charges in the past, only to withdraw them later, and who according to reports had promised her in marriage to a cousin in Pakistan. In March Hina went to live with Giuseppe and began working at a local pizzeria.
While she preferred to wear Western-style clothes most of the time - she was wearing jeans when her body was found - she would cover her hair as a "sign of respect" when visiting the family home, neighbours said.
Investigators believe that Hina's mother Bushra - who the neighbours often tried to defend her daughter from her father's rage - may have left for Pakistan a few week ago taking her younger children with her.
In his wife's absence, police suspect the 56-year-old Muhammad, together with the other male relatives decided to murder Hina after she refused one last request for her to leave Italy and to accept the arranged marriage in Pakistan.
On Saturday police found Muhammad's car abandoned on the side of a road near Sarezzo, but have thus far failed to locate him or the other two men.
According to the leader of the 40,000 strong Pakistani community in Italy, Ejaz Ahmad, 'honour killings' have less to do with the Islamic religion than with immigrant communities who have failed to integrate.
"If a man does it (become romantically involved with someone outside their community), at most it will distress his family, but of a woman does it is a huge scandal," Ahmad, who is also a member of a government apppointed advisory body on Islamic affairs, the Consulta Islamica, told the Milan daily Corriere della Sera.
"In the Indian tradition (which is shared by many ethnic groups in Pakistan), a woman does not have an identity of her own, but only as a daughter, a wife, or a mother and always stays at home," he said, adding that such a condition was unacceptable for immigrant women growing up in a European country.
"In Sweden alone over the last five years four women have been murdered because they were or wanted to become romantically involved with non-Pakistani men. Britain, on the other hand is full of such cases," Ahmad said.
Click to view image: '1af1036f7d16-1155481106_v_in_pach_20060813.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|