Canadian Jury Finds Afghan Family Guilty of Honor Killings

Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya and their son Hamed were found guilty of four counts of first degree murder in the case of an “Honor Killing” in Canada. The family was found guilty of planning and killing Shafia’s three teenage children and his co-wife from a polygamous marriage.

The jury, after 15 hours of deliberating, returned their verdict after hearing the prosecutions case where the three of the Shafia’s took the girls to a deserted area of road, drowned them in a river and then put the bodies in a Nissan and rolled it into a lake to make it look like an accident.

Prosecutors said the reason the family committed the murders is because the girls refused to adhere to the family’s ultra strict version of Islam and because immodest in their dress mannerisms and they went online.

Honor killing are a lot less rare in Afghanistan where the family originated from. In Afghanistan women are often killed by their families for offenses such as marrying outside of the arranged marriage set up for them, being raped, have premarital sex or even become less devout in public.

There have been some convictions in Western countries by immigrants from these countries, but it has mostly been confined to isolated incidents.

This type of case is extremely rare in Canada.

Mohammad Shafia, speaking through a translator,professed his innocence and said,

“We are not criminal, we are not murderer, we didn’t commit the murder and this is unjust.”

His wife Tooba also said,

“I am not a murderer, and I am a mother, a mother.”

Their son, Hamed, said,

“I did not drown my sisters anywhere.”

the prosecution played the jury tapes made of the Shafia’s talking on the phone to relatives after the girls died. The father was heard saying the girls had betrayed the family immensely and calling them treacherous and whores and invoking the devil to defecate on their graves.

What do you think should be done with the Shafia family?