Multinational Multicultural Honor Killing

Two sisters from a Pakistani family in Catalonia were lured to Pakistan, where they were murdered by their male relatives in the presence of their mother for wanting to divorce the husbands they had been forced to marry.

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this article from El Mundo:

The mother witnessed the murder of the Terrassa sisters in Pakistan at the hands of their other brother

The woman is under police protection for the threats she received from her family

The crime against the neighbors in Terrassa, Arooy Abbas and Aneesa Abbas, sisters of Pakistani nationality, in their country for wanting to separate from the husbands they had been forced to marry, could also involve punishment for the family; a brother of the victims is among the material perpetrators of their deaths.

The mother of the deceased, Azra Bibi, had been in her country for some time since she went to take care of one of her sons, a minor, who was living with two others. However, as reported by the daily Dawn, as soon as she arrived in her village, Nothia, her family locked her in a room, kept her incommunicado without allowing her to talk to her daughters, and threatened her. Everything indicates that Arooj and Aneesa were tricked into leaving this country [Spain] when they were told that their mother was about to die.

Once there, and seeing that it was a trap, the family pressured the sisters to take their husbands, whom they had been previously forced to marry, to Spain. They refused and asked for divorces, for which they were mistreated by their family, including by their brothers, so that they would change their minds. They also slandered them, saying that they had relations with other men in Spain and dressed in Western style.

Finally, the women were suffocated with a handkerchief, and shot. The deaths occurred hours after their arrival in Pakistan. It appears that this crime was committed in the presence of the mother, presumably to teach her a lesson for the refusal of her daughters to continue with the forced marriages. For this, after the burial of the girls, a relative took the mother under her protection since she feared for her life, and she is now under police protection. In addition, she made contact with the Spanish embassy in Pakistan with the intention of leaving for Europe as soon as possible. She has a minor son in her country and another in Spain.

There are six arrestees in Pakistan for this crime, among them two brothers of the victims, as well as uncles and cousins, and another three persons are being sought for their alleged involvement. Meanwhile, in Spain, the prosecutor’s office of Terrassa is investigating whether someone in the victims’ environment in their location of residence could have led them into the trap. The Catalonian Police have taken a statement from the father of Arooj Abbas and Aneesa Abbas, who explained that he has not had contact with them for some time since they left home, as a brother and an uncle have stated.

The police interrogated other persons connected to the family, such as the owner of the shop where the father works, who confirmed the version that he had had no contact with his daughters for some time. In addition, he explained that he didn’t know that the daughters were in Pakistan since he considered that the father had “no responsibility” in what has happened because he has known him for years and trusts his word. He also was surprised by the fact that one of the older brothers, who lived in Terrassa, is one of the material perpetrators of the murders because he “loved his sisters very much.” The father might return to give another statement at the police station. In Pakistan, the preventative custody of the suspects ends next weekend.

The deaths of the two sisters, residents of Terrassa, has caused a deep commotion, not only in this municipality, in which there have been several displays of tribute and revulsion for the crime, but also in Catalonian society. The parliament condemned this murder, as well as another misogynist crime committed in March in La Granada del Penedes (Barcelona), noting that “violence against women is the most brutal face of machismo and patriarchy.”

But the crime has also shaken the large Pakistani community of Terrassa. Yesterday, a representative, Kamram Khan, stated that it was a “brutal act” and noted that, “a murder is always a murder, and cannot be for honor; they are two words that do not add up. Honor says that you must protect loved ones, not kill them.”

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