Honour crimes are not unique to India and its neighbours. In what could turn out to be the most high-profile case of the spreading scourge in Britain, the father and brother of a Bangladeshi-origin Harry Potter movie star have been charged with attempting to kill her.
Afshan Azad, 22, became the first South Asian to star in a Harry Potter move when she was picked to play the role of the giggly witch Padma Patil in the 2005 film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also starred in the two sequels and is set to reprise the role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, set to release next year.
This week, her father Abdul Azad, 54, and brother Ashraf, 28, were charged by police after an alleged physical assault at their family home in Longsight, Manchester, in May.
According to the Daily Express, they assaulted her when she refused to cut off relations with her boyfriend — a Hindu. The paper said the two men allegedly confronted her in her bedroom and the assault left her “badly bruised.”
Afshan is said to have moved to London to stay with friends while her father and brother were arrested and remanded in custody to Manchester’s Strangeways jail.
Honour or izzat crimes are acknowledged as a growing problem in Britain, perpetuated mostly by Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims, but also by Sikhs from India.