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Parents on trial in alleged honor killing

May 21, 2012 at 5:03 PM

CHESTER, England, May 21 (UPI) -- A Pakistani-born couple is on trial in Britain for the death of their 17-year-old daughter in an alleged honor killing.

Prosecutors say Shafilia Ahmed disappeared in 2003 after she resisted her parents' plans for an arranged marriage. Her decomposed body was discovered five months later near a river in the northern Lake District of England, The Daily Telegraph said Monday.

Prosecuting attorney Andrew Edis alleges Iftikhar Ahmed and his wife, Farzana, killed their daughter because she had dishonored the family. "They had despaired of ever becoming a daughter they could be proud of," he told a jury in Chester Crown Court.

The couple was arrested briefly in 2003 on suspicion of kidnapping but were released. They were accused of killing their daughter in 2010 after Shafilia's younger sister Rukish came forward and said she had witnessed her sister's slaying. Rukish retracted the allegation when she was convicted of her part in a robbery at her parents' home but later reinstated the claim in court, the newspaper said.

Edis described Shafilia as "a thoroughly Westernized young British girl" who wanted to date and have boyfriends. He said the teenager was victimized by her parents' "campaign of domestic violence and abuse designed to force her to conform so she would behave in a way they expected."

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