Family convicted of 'honour killings'
30 January 2012, 16:33
New York - A Canadian court convicted three members
of a family of Afghan origin for the murder of four female family
members over what they saw as their shameful behaviour.
A jury on
Sunday found Mohammad Shafia, aged 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, aged 42,
and their son Hamed, aged 21, from Montreal, guilty of four counts each
of first-degree murder for killing Shafia's daughters and his first
"It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous, more honourless crime," Judge Robert Maranger said.
He added that their "completely twisted concept of honour" had "absolutely no place in any civilised society".
aged 13, Sahar, aged 17, Zainab, aged 19, and Shafia's other wife
52-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad were found drowned in a car in a canal in
Kingston in June 2009.
Barbaric and unacceptable
argued that the sisters had shamed the conservative family with their
revealing clothing, refusal to wear hijabs and boyfriends. Rona Amir
Mohammad had tried to protect them.
A conviction for first-degree
murder carries a mandatory life sentence and at least 25 years must be
served before becoming eligible for parole.
The four defendants
had maintained their innocence during the 10-week trial despite
incriminating wiretap recordings in which Mohammad Shafia said he hoped
the devil would defecate on their graves.
Justice Minister Rob
Nicholson called honour killings "barbaric and unacceptable in Canada"
in a statement issued after the court handed down its verdict.
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