Pakistani man stones wife in Italy

Oct. 4, 2010 at 6:24 PM

ROME, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- An Italian minister says she will stand as co-plaintiff in the case of a Pakistani woman allegedly stoned to death by her husband.

Ahmad Khan Butt allegedly was infuriated by his 20-year-old daughter Nosheen's refusal of an arranged marriage and by his wife's defense of her, ANSA reported Monday.

Butt and his 19-year-old son Umair allegedly joined forces to punish both wife and daughter, ANSA said, with Umair beating Nosheen with an iron bar and Butt stoning to death his 46-year-old wife Shahnaz Begum.

Nosheen was taken, comatose, to a Modena hospital.

"Standing as plaintiff is a way of showing my support for young immigrant women, to underscore that our country is with them every time their freedom and dignity are attacked," Italian Equal Opportunities Minister Mara Carfagna said.

Carfagna said men who think they have life-and-death command over their female relatives "cannot receive any sort of welcome in Italy."

The Union of Islamic Communities in Italy stressed "there is nothing in Islam that justifies forced marriages."

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