In some countries, Shafilea Ahmed’s parents might have faced little or no punishment under a legal system informed by Islamic law. In Britain, they could not hide forever.
Unfortunately, authorities did miss opportunities to help Shafilea. In 2003, she reported to them that she was in danger of being pushed into a forced marriage in Pakistan. After defying her parents, she disappeared, and was later found dead.
The parents of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed have been charged with their daughter’s murder — eight years after she disappeared.
Shafilea, 17, went missing from her home in September 2003 after complaining that her parents were trying to force her into an arranged marriage.
A massive hunt was launched for the bright A-level student who had dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
Her decomposed body was found in February 2004, hidden near a river in the Lake District.
A coroner ruled that the Muslim teenager had been the victim of a “˜vile murder”.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 51, a taxi driver, and his wife Farzana, 48, were initially arrested on suspicion of kidnapping their daughter in December 2003.
They were questioned by police but were released in June 2004 without charge when the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence against them.
The couple were re-arrested on suspicion of murder in September last year but have always denied any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance or death. […]
The charges are believed to have come after fresh evidence was handed to police by Shafilea’s sister, Alisha, who was two years younger.
She was arrested by police for allegedly masterminding an armed robbery at the family home.
Alisha, who is in the witness protection programme, admitted the charges and is awaiting sentence.
The 22-year-old is believed to have made new claims about her parents” involvement in Shafilea’s death.
Shafilea, from Warrington, Cheshire, went missing after complaining she was being forced into an arranged marriage.
Police investigating her disappearance discovered she had travelled to Pakistan for what she thought was a family holiday.
But once there she was allegedly told an arranged marriage had been organised for her.
The A-level pupil drank bleach in an apparent suicide attempt while in Pakistan and returned to the UK to continue studying.
Weeks later she disappeared. She was reported missing by a teacher.
After her body was found on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria, an inquest ruled she had been murdered and a pathologist stated she was likely to have been smothered or strangled.
The coroner said at the time: “˜Shafilea was the victim of a very vile murder and there’s no evidence before the court as to who did it. There are things people know that have not been told to this court….