On December 19, an Italian court handed down life sentences to two parents convicted of killing their teenage daughter, Saman Abbas, who had refused to travel to Pakistan for an arranged marriage.
The tragic case of the 18-year-old’s so-called “honour killing” in April 2021 stirred shock in Italy. The court in the northern city of Reggio Emilia convicted the father, Shabbar Abbas, while the victim’s mother, who is still at large, was also sentenced to life imprisonment. The girl’s uncle received a 14-year prison sentence, while two cousins were acquitted. The verdict is at a court of first instance and can be appealed.
During the trial, Shabbar Abbas, who had been extradited from Pakistan in August, protested his innocence and wept, stating, “This trial is not complete. I too want to know who killed my daughter.”
Saman Abbas’ remains were discovered near her family home in Novellara in November 2022, 18 months after her disappearance. Identified through dental records, she has become a symbol of public concern in Italy over violence against women by family members or partners.
Prosecutors revealed that the family was enraged upon learning about Saman Abbas’ boyfriend in Italy. The alleged motive for the killing was tied to her return to the family home to collect documents after living under the care of social services nearby