ISLAMABAD — A British woman of Pakistani origin was raped before she was allegedly strangled to death by her ex-husband in a village in the country’s eastern Punjab province, a police spokeswoman said.
Samia Shahid, a 28-year-old woman from Bradford, was found dead in July of what were assumed to be natural causes and buried in a local cemetery.
But a fresh inquiry was ordered after Shahid’s husband Mukhtar Kazim publicly accused her family of killing her because they opposed Shahid’s decision to divorce her first husband in 2014 and marry him. The inquiry concluded that Shahid had been strangled and her first husband Mohammad Shakeel has been detained as the prime suspect.
On Saturday, Nabila Ghazanfar, the police spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that a forensic examination confirmed that Shahid was raped before her death.
Kazim also accused Shahid’s own family members of conspiring in the murder by telling her that her father was critically ill in order to lure Shahid back to Pakistan. The father has been detained by police as well.
Ghazanfar said a local police chief has been suspended for mishandling the case and allowing Shahid’s mother and sister to flee the country. She said investigators are seeking their return for questioning.
Shahid’s case surfaced less than two weeks after taboo-defying social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother for posting racy photographs that were deemed shameful in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are killed every year by family members in so-called “honor killings.”