Correspondent in Rome
«I do it in small pieces and, if you want, I also take it to Guastalla [municipio de la región de Emilia-Romaña]We throw her there because it doesn’t go well that way … She does too many things … She puts on pants … Nothing to do with Muslim women ». This is the chilling content from part of the statement made to the judge by Saman Abbas’s brother, the 18-year-old Pakistani, murdered by the family when they rebelled against a marriage arranged by her parents, Shabbar, 46, and Nazia Shaheen, 47.
The Italian media today report the macabre story, surrounded by mystery for four months, since there is no trace of the young woman since April 30. The 16-year-old brother revealed to investigators that, to plan the crime, the day before the girl’s disappearance, a “family reunion” was held at the Abbas’ home, an agricultural farmhouse in Novellara, in Emilia-Romagna, about ten kilometers from Guastalla.
For the judge, the motive for the murder is rooted in religion and in the tradition of the Pakistani family, which did not consent to the young woman’s rejection of the combined marriage with a relative living in Pakistan, when she had a contemporary boyfriend of the same nationality residing in Italy. The judge has written about the motive for the murder: “There is a terrible relationship between the religious precepts and the dictates of the local tradition, which oblige the members of the clan to a brutal, blind and absolutely uncritical observance of femicide.”
The text of the investigation includes a United Nations report – made with data from NGOs – on the “honor killings”, the “kala kali”, in Punjab, the region where the Abbas come from, with the practice of a terrible and incredible ritual: the bodies of women murdered for rejecting a marriage organized by the family are ‘thrown into rivers or buried in special hidden cemeteries. ‘
Violent family reaction
Months before his murder, la joven Samas Abbas he had left home after receiving ill-treatment and was in a sheltered center for a short period. He told the police about the violence he suffered: «From the first moment I knew that my parents’ intention was to marry my cousin, I said that I did not love him, he was too big for me. My father’s reactions – Saman added – were violent on a physical level. He hit me. Once, he threw a knife at me and it didn’t hit me, but it did hit my 15-year-old brother and hurt his hand. He also hit me because I wanted to go to school, but he didn’t want to.
Five are the people investigated for the murder: The parents, who fled to Pakistan a few days after the crime, an uncle and two cousins. Only one of them, Ikram Ijaz, 29, was arrested in France and extradited to Italy. Following his statements to the investigators, the judge wrote about Ikram Ijaz: “He coldly and faithfully put himself at the service of a ferocious murderer, moved by the cultural and religious tradition that he himself shares.”
That “fierce murderer” the judge describes is 33-year-old Danish Hasnain. In the terrifying story told by young Saman’s brother, her uncle, Danish Hasnain, was the material author of the crime: «The uncle killed her by strangling her; He asked me not to say anything to the police and threatened to kill me if I said anything. I thought about killing him in his sleep, considering what he had done. But later I considered that I would have ended up in jail and that it was better for the police to intervene, “confessed the adolescent, who is still in a protected center today. Hasnain Danish is known as a violent and fundamentalist Islamist capable of terrorizing the Abbas family.
Investigations to find the girl’s body have never been suspended. For months the police tracked the farm where the Pakistani clan men worked inch by inch, with drones, geoscanners and dogs. Now, after learning about the macabre ritual of “honor killing,” investigators wonder if the young woman was thrown into the nearby Po River.