A teenage Pakistani girl living in Italy is believed murdered after she refused her family’s demand that she have an arranged marriage.
The family of 18-year-old Saman Abbas threw her out on the street when she refused the marriage, and later she was tracked down by her uncle and allegedly strangled before being buried in a preprepared grave.
Police have shared footage allegedly showing the uncle carrying the shovel he used to dig the girl’s grave, before strangling her to death, for refusing the arranged marriage.
The uncle, Danish Hasnain, 33, is accused of killing Saman and burying her body at an unknown location in the Italian city of Novellara on the night between 30th April and 1st May.
Four other members of the family are under investigation for their role in the crime including her parents Shabbar Abbas, 46, and Nazia Shaheen, 47, and her cousins, Ijaz Ikram, 28, and Nomanulhaq Nomanulhaq, 33.
The whereabouts of the uncle and Nomanulhaq are unknown, the parents have reportedly fled to Pakistan, and Ikram was caught in France and is now awaiting extradition back to Italy.
The teen’s life was turned upside when her father told her that she was expected to accept an arranged marriage.
According to the local news site Fanpage, Shabbar Abbas, the girl’s father, threw Saman out of the family home.
Judge Reggio Emilia said the indications were that Saman then spent several nights sleeping in the streets with nowhere to go before she was taken in by social services at the beginning of April.
They advised her to avoid going home, but on 11th April she went back to her family.
The judge believes that on the night of 30th April Saman got into a violent argument with her parents over the arranged marriage and ran away again.
According to testimony given by the victim’s brother, who was not named, her uncle Danish Hasnain was instructed by the family to bring her back but instead, he strangled her to death.
Hasnain is reportedly a feared figure in the family who has often acted violently in the past and the victim’s brother told the court: “We are all afraid of my uncle.”
La Repubblica reports that the uncle returned to the house without the young girl but told her parents everything was fine and that they shouldn’t worry.
The girl’s disappearance didn’t come to light until 5th May when authorities were sent to the family’s home to recover documents that Saman’s family had been refusing to hand over since social services took the victim in.
Authorities arrived at that house only to find that the victim’s parents had left Italy and returned to Pakistan, whilst Saman was missing.
The victim’s father told Italian authorities from Pakistan that the girl is in Belgium, however, Prosecutor Isabella Chiesi refuted these claims saying they are sure that she did not go to Belgium, and she is almost certainly dead.
The investigation is ongoing, and the body of Saman still has not been located by Italian authorities but Chiesi said that the police are confident they will find the body in the coming weeks.