“If you are here, I could not leave you alive.”
“Don’t dismiss honour killing claim: judge,” by Kenyon Wallace for the National Post, November 24 (thanks to Kim):
A Federal Court judge has ordered the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to consider the credibility of a woman’s claim that she will be the victim of an “honour killing” if deported to her home country of Pakistan.
Justice Michael Kelen found that an immigration officer reviewing evidence in the case of Roohi Tabassum, a 44-year-old Mississauga hair stylist who has been fighting to stay in Canada since 2001, made a mistake by characterizing as “not threatening” letters purportedly from Ms. Tabassum’s husband in which he promised to “finish” Ms. Tabassum if she returned to Pakistan.
According to documents submitted to Citizenship and Immigration obtained by the National Post, Ms. Tabassum claims her husband, Faisal Javed, thought to be living in Dubai, began sending her letters and emails in 2006 in which he threatens to kill her for “dishonouring” his family by touching other men’s hair while working at a Mississauga salon.
She also claims her husband and his family have become erroneously convinced that she is living with another man in Canada, after a friend’s husband answered the phone at her apartment one night.
“What you are doing there, does it look better to you and does your religion allow you to touch other men? It is better to die hungry,” says one 2006 letter translated from Urdu and allegedly written by Mr. Javed.
“Tell me everything true otherwise you know that I can do anything for my honour. Do you know how much I believed in you? Other than this you are also aware that your life is seriously in danger in Pakistan…. Everybody is against you. I am also very combative to you. If you are here, I could not leave you alive.”
After asking her husband for a divorce, Ms. Tabassum received another letter dated February 2007 in which Mr. Javed alledgedly writes: “My doubts about you are real and right but keep this in mind that now I will finish you myself.”…
The judge referred the case to another officer and suggested a hearing to “determine if these documents containing the threats are credible, or self-serving documents created by persons close to the applicant to buttress her case to be allowed to remain in Canada.”
If the letters are found not to be credible, Ms. Tabassum will be deported.