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Pak parents guilty of honour killing in UK

world Updated: Aug 04, 2012 09:16 IST

A British court found a Pakistani couple guilty on Friday of murdering their "westernised" teenage daughter in an apparent honour killing Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, suffocated their 17-year-old daughter, Shafilea, in 2003.

Shafilea's sister Alesha had told the jury her mother had said: "Just finish it here," as they forced a plastic bag into Shafilea's mouth in front of their other children.

Shafilea had disappeared from the family home in the town of Warrington, near Chester, in September 2003, and her body was found five months later on a riverbank in Cumbria, north-west England.

Prosecutors said the couple murdered her because they felt her "Western" habits, wearing make-up and talking to boys, brought shame on the family.

Shafilea ran away from home and asked the local authority to provide her with emergency accommodation, just before she was drugged and taken to Pakistan in February 2003 to be forced into a marriage.

In a letter to social services, she said she had suffered from regular domestic violence since she was 15 and was prevented from attending college and part-time job.

The parents denied the murder, but Farzana said she saw her husband beating Shafilea.

Case history of a heinous crime