A BRITISH woman who died in an alleged “honour killing” in Pakistan was raped before she was murdered, police have said, The Sun reports. Samia Shahid was visiting family in the Punjab village of Pandori when she was found dead of what were assumed to be natural causes.
But a fresh inquiry was ordered after her husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam publicly accused her family of killing her because they opposed Mrs Shahid’s decision to divorce her first husband in 2014 and marry him.
Chaudhry Shakeel is believed to have admitted he killed the 28-year-old before he appeared in court alongside her father. Geo News reported that he told police in a recorded interview: “I strangled Samia to death using a dupatta (a long scarf).”
Today Pakistani police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said a forensic examination confirmed the victim was raped before her death. She also said a local police chief has been suspended for mishandling the case, and allowing Mrs Shahid’s mother and sister to flee the country.
Samia’s father Mohammed Shahid appeared in court accused of being an accessory to her murder. Both were remanded in custody in the northern city of Jhelum. Shahid, of Bradford, was visiting family in the Punjab village of Pandori in July when she died.
Investigators believe she was strangled and stabbed, but her family was initially told she died from a heart attack. A second post-mortem later revealed she had been strangled. Her second husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam, who lived with her in Dubai, believes she was murdered for marrying outside the family.
He claims his wife’s own family lured her back to Pakistan by telling her that her father was critically ill. Relatives told him she died of a sudden heart attack or asthma attack after she was buried in a village graveyard. Pakistan cops claimed a quick post-mortem was carried out and have found no visible injuries or signs of violence on her body.
But Mr Kazam, who married her at Leeds Town Hall in September 2014, says she was killed by her family because they refused to accept her marrying an ‘outsider’. A full investigation into her death only began after Mr Kazam raised the alarm with friends in the UK.
Bradford MP Naz Shah demanded that Pakistani authorities exhume her body and commission an independent postmortem. Mohammed Shahid, father of 28-year-old Samia, was arrested along with her ex-husband Chaudhry Shakil and her cousin Mobeen. Local police chief Jehlum Mujahid Akbar admitted the death of Samia, from Bradford, was “not due to natural causes”.
Regional Police Officer Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja said: “The accused are arrested and after interrogations we hope to find out the truth. “The post-mortem report that saliva was oozing out of her mouth and she had wound mark on her neck indicates she was suffocated to death.
“Since the wound mark is fresh and dated at the time of death there is little doubt she has been killed.” An estimated 1,000 women are killed every year by family members in so-called “honour killings” in Pakistan.