Two months after her death in Pakistan, the father and ex-husband of 28-year-old Samia Shahid are in police custody for her murder—or what her new husband claims was done as an “honor killing.”
In July, Shahid, a British citizen, had traveled to Pakistan upon hearing her father was ill. According to the BBC, it was there that her first husband, Chaudhry Muhammad Shakeel, confronted her, asking her to renounce her marriage to her new husband, Mukhtar Kazim. Shakeel later confessed to police that when Shahid refused, he strangled her with a scarf. Reports indicate she was also raped before her death.
Shahid’s relatives initially claimed that she died of a heart attack. The BBC reports that her uncle and a policeman involved with the investigation are also currently being held on charges of falsifying her medical information and covering up the murder.
The charges come as two anti-honor killing bills are languishing in the Pakistani parliament. The bills, which were approved by committee back in July, have yet to be brought to a vote.
Writing in Dawn, New York Times columnist Bina Shah accused the Pakistani parliament of making a big to-do about the bills “merely to show to the international community that the government was ‘doing something’ about the problem.”
We were promised an anti-honor killing law. Where is it? https://t.co/NtlTiglwxZ
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) September 6, 2016
Shahid’s murder has sparked outrage on social media as individuals demand a vote on the anti-honor killing law.
— Vishal Sehgal (@VishalSehgal4U) September 6, 2016
Words can't describe my anger and disgust at brutes who did this! Samia Shahid 'honour killing': Raped before deathhttps://t.co/H0Ftksb2XC
— Aisha Ali-Khan #FreeLatifa (@aak1880) September 2, 2016
When questioned about the murder, Shahid’s father has denied any involvement.
— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) September 5, 2016
Her mother and sister are also both wanted by Pakistani police in connection with the murder.