Police Report: UK Woman Was Raped, Honor Killed By Her Ex-Husband As Her Father Stood Guard

REUTERS/Mohsin Raza.

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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A British woman was raped and murdered by her ex-husband while her father stood guard during an honor killing, according to a Pakistani police report.

Samia Shahid was found dead in her ancestral homeland of Pandori, a town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, in July. The 28-year-old’s death was initially thought to be of natural causes, but authorities discovered she had been raped and strangled to death after her body was exhumed from a Punjabi cemetery.

Punjabi police accused Shahid’s ex-husband Choudhry Mohammad Shakeel of the rape and murder, while accusing her father, Muhammad Shaheed, of facilitation. The report characterized the crime as a “premeditated, cold-blooded murder” and recommended both men be tried on rape and murder charges. Muhammad Shahid and Shakeel have been in Pakistani police custody for several weeks, awaiting formal charges.

The Pakistani government ordered the investigation into Shahid’s death after her second husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazam, claimed she had been victim of an honor killing. He told police Shahid’s parents were opposed to their marriage. Shahid had apparently divorced and remarried without her family’s permission.

Kazam accused Shahid’s family of luring her to Pakistan by telling her that her father was extremely sick before allowing Shakeel to rape and kill her. The report recommends the extradition of Shahid’s mother and sister from the United Kingdom so they can be investigated for their alleged part in the killing.

Shahid’s father planned to use Pakistan’s infamous “blood money” laws to allow Shakeel to get away with the murder, said the report. As Shahid’s “wali,” or guardian, Muhammad Shahid could pardon Shakeel in exchange for compensation, according to Pakistani law.

“If Shakeel had been charged for murder … Shahid could have easily pardoned him after a few days, being wali of the victim,” said the report.

Police said Shahid’s father wanted a rushed investigation so Shakeel could be accused and quickly pardoned. The officer who headed the initial investigation into the murder was arrested Saturday for allegedly concealing evidence in the case.

It is believed as many as 1,000 women in Pakistan are killed each year in honor killings.

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