Earlier this month I posted about the presumed honor killing of a Pakistani girl in Italy by members of her extended family. The body of Saman Abbas has yet to be found, but her parents have decamped to Pakistan without her, and her little brother has told the authorities that she was killed for refusing an arranged marriage with a cousin.
Below is a video update on the case from Italian television. Many thanks to Gary Fouse for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:
The following article from Il Giornale (also translated by Gary Fouse) reports on Saman’s cousin Ikram Ijaz, who is now in police custody:
Saman’s cousin knows everything and remains silent: “I will talk in the future…”
In jail, Ikram Ijaz is not responding to GIP [Giudice di Indagine Preliminare, Preliminary Investigations Judge]: “Nothing to do with the end of my cousin”
by Nino Materi
June 12, 2021
After so many hours spent with his two lawyers to “fine-tune the defense strategy”, here is the result: “I avail myself of the right not to respond.” Ikram Ijaz, 28, a cousin of Saman Abbas, yesterday passed the translated sentence to the interpreter who relayed it to GIP and to the prosecutor who are investigating the disappearance of the 18-year-old Pakistani, killed by a family conspiracy and made to disappear who knows where. For about six weeks her body has been searched for in the fields around the agriculture business “Le Valli” in Novellara (Reggio-Emilia) where the Abbas family lived and where the young girl was seen for the last time April 29.
Yesterday was supposed to be the day of truth; it was, instead, the day of silence. The 28-year-old is accused of premeditated homicide (with others) and hiding a cadaver together with the uncle, Danish Hasnain (suspected of strangling Saman), along with another cousin, Nomanulhaq Nomanulhaq, and the parents of the victim: the father, Shabbar Abbas, and the mother, Nazia Shaheen. All four are fugitives. (The parents have fled to Pakistan, the other two are in flight in Europe.) Ikram Ijaz, the only one of those charged who is in jail, is one of the three who was captured by a security telecamera on April 30 as they walked away from the Abbas farmhouse carrying a shovel, crowbar, bucket, and plastic bags. The prosecutorial hypothesis is that the three (Ijaz, the other cousin, and the uncle) were going to bury the remains of Saman. A reconstruction of which Ijaz yesterday laconically distanced himself saying that he “had nothing to do with Saman’s disappearance”. But then what was he doing in that film? Why did he then flee to France? Two key questions that Ijaz would have been able to answer, dispelling any doubt about his involvement in a crime hatched by the same parents of Saman to punish their daughter, who was “guilty” of not having accepted an “arranged marriage” and of not comporting herself as a “good Muslim”. Instead, Ijaz — arrested on May 29 in France and extradited to Italy last week — when face-to-face with investigators in the Reggio Emilia jail did not respond to questions while pointing out that he was “willing to cooperate”. His lawyers note: “He has shown the intention of making more in-depth statements to the prosecutor in the coming days.” Then why not begin doing so immediately? The dilatory technique is a classic of the defense to understand what the prosecution has in hand: stalling is considered by defendants as an almost obligatory strategy. Still, in this case, the evidentiary picture is quite defined, and to crystallize it completely, only the discovery of the body of Saman is missing. (But that is not a small detail.).But this sentence, terrible, spoken by one of those charged — “We have done a good job” — is there to demonstrate how difficult it will be to recover the remains of the girl. Up until now, cadaver dogs and georadar have not obtained the hoped-for result. It is not excluded that the cadaver could have been dismembered into several parts and hidden in various places.
Meanwhile, the lawyers of the only charged person in jail (the parents of Saman have fled to Pakistan, while the uncle and the other cousin of the victim are fugitives in another country) maintain that their client “does not understand Italian well,” and therefore, for this reason, the time of “cooperation” risks “becoming longer”. The feeling instead is that Ijaz knows a lot — if not everything — about the sad fate of Saman. But that he has decided, at least for now, to keep his mouth shut. Perhaps out of fear of revenge. Perhaps because he wants “guarantees”. Or perhaps, more simply, because he has no conscience.
Another article from Il Giornale (also translated by Gary Fouse) discusses the reluctance of Italian politicians to mention JIM: