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Pakistani family stands trial for ‘honour killing’

BRUSSELS: A Pakistani family of four will go on trial here on Thursday in connection with the “honour killing” of a 20-year-old woman, who defied them by living with a Belgian and refusing an arranged marriage.

Sadia Sheikh, a Belgian law student of Pakistani origin, was shot dead by three bullets fired by her older brother Mudassar on October 22, 2007, when visiting her family, who had pledged to patch up their quarrel.

She had left the family home to study after her shopkeeper parents tried to arrange a marriage with a cousin living in Pakistan she had never met.

Before moving in with a Belgian man named Jean, she spent some time in a centre for victims of domestic violence where she drew up a will as she felt threatened. Her father Tariq Mahmood Sheikh, mother Zahida Perveen Sariya and sister Sariya will be in the dock with Mudassar on Thursday in a jury trial in the town of Mons, and will also face charges of “attempting to arrange a marriage.” The four face sentences of life imprisonment if found guilty by the jury in the hearings expected to last three to four weeks.
Source: The News

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