Family friend Shahin Munir shared how the teenager Shafilea Ahmed suffered a catalogue of abuse before she was killed in 2003 by parents Farzana and Ifthikar, who disapproved of her ‘Western’ fashion, including a short-sleeved T-shirt she wore on the day of her death.
She tells the victim’s sister Mehvish confided in her about the extent of the abuse, which included the parents branding Shafilea a ‘w*** and a prostit***’ and beating her.
There were physical beatings and a lot of emotional abuse. Her sister told me her parents would lock Shafilea in the garden. She wanted to escape her home, for her it was hell.’
Shanin attended the same mosque as Shafilea’s sisters and said the teenager had dreams of becoming a lawyer and had even ‘texted boys’.
Her family arranged a holiday to Pakistan, where they intended to marry her off to one of her cousins. Terrified, Shafilea refused to go, but her father drugged her with sleeping pills and forced her to get on the flight.
When she awake in Pakistan, the teenager was so terrified about what would happen to her that she downed bleach in a desperate suicide attempt, which severely burnt her throat and oesophagus.
Her parents were fruious at her for refusing the marriage and so they plotted an honour killing after they decided she brought shame on their family.
She was pinned on a sofa as a plastic bag was stuffed into her mouth while they struggled to suffocate her and she urinated on the sofa in the struggle.
After she died, her body was dumped in the river. Five months later her decomposed body was found washed in the River Kent near Sedgwick in Cumbria in 2003.
In 2011, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were arrested and charged on suspicion of murder of their daughter. In 2012, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were found guilty and were sentenced to 25 years in prison with no parole.