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Mother accuses husband of honor killing

July 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, July 10 (UPI) -- A mother, accused of killing her daughter in an honor killing, told a British court she saw her husband attack the girl.

Farzana Ahmed said Monday she witnessed her husband Ifitkar attack their 17-year-old daughter Shafilea in 2003. They said they believed her "western" lifestyle brought shame on the family. The allegation is an abrupt change of defense for Farzana, CNN reported.

Farzana said she tried to intervene, but her husband pushed her away and punched her. She told jurors she was "extremely scared," and ran to a bedroom with her other children until she heard a car leaving 20 minutes later. When Ifitkar returned alone, Farzana said she asked him what happened to their daughter.

"If you care for your dear life and that of your children, don't ever ask me this question again," she recalled him saying.

Alesha Ahmed, Shafilea's younger sister, testified last month she saw her parents kill Shafilea by suffocating her with a plastic bag. Alesha had not come forward as a witness until 2010.

Farzana said Monday her son Mevish was the only other child present when Shafilea was killed.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates some 5,000 honor killings happen every year, however concrete numbers are difficult to come by.

"There is a wall of silence around this, and people are not prepared to talk," said prosecutor Nazir Afzal.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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