One arrest has been in the case of the alleged honour killing of a teenage Pakistani girl in Italy last month. Ikram Ijaz, one of victim Saman Abbas’ cousins, was arrested in Nimes in France and was later handed over to Italy. He was taken into custody by Italian authorities at the Ventimiglia border, from where he was taken to a prison in Reggio Emilia city.
Ijaz was arrested on 29th May by French police on a European arrest warrant issued by the Reggio Emilia court at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and he was extradited to Italy on 9th June. He was later presented in a court, where he denied any involvement in the disappearance of the girl.
Ikram Ijaz is among the suspects behind murder of 18-year-old girl Pakistani girl Saman Abbas, and the concealment of the body. It has been suspected that she was killed and buried by her family for refusing to marry her cousin. According to the Italian police, the teenage Pakistani girl’s parents Shabbar and Nazia, together with uncle Hasnain and cousins Nomanulhaq and Ijaz, allegedly strangled her and buried her in the fields near her home.
Italy police searching for the body of the Pakistani girl
Police suspect all five of murder and disposing of her body, although no remains have yet been found. They have been searching for the girl since early May and have now begun using electromagnetic sensors and sniffer dogs to conduct a more thorough search of the area.
CCTV footage accessed by authorities from April 29, a day before the alleged murder, show Ikram Ijaz, , his uncle Danish Hasnain and Saman’s other cousin Nomanulhaq Nomanulhaq with shovels, crowbar and bucket heading towards the fields, presumably to dig a grave for the girl.
Hasnain, who is said to be the mastermind of the alleged murder, and Nomanulhaq are still on the run and the police are searching for them. According to the cops, Hasnain and Nomanulhaq are also probably somewhere in Europe, but their exact whereabouts are still unknown. In the meanwhile, the parents of the girl have fled to Pakistan, and they are also wanted in Italy for the crime.
How the family of the Pakistani girl in Italy conspired to kill and dispose her body
Police revealed that the case dates back to last year when the family tried to force Saman into an arranged marriage with her cousin in Pakistan. The girl fled her home after she got into an argument with her parents for the same.
Since October 2020, Saman had been living in a refugee camp under the protection of social services. However, on April 11 2021, Saman returned home back to her parents. Authorities believed she had been tricked into returning home by her parents.
Meanwhile, her family started preparing for her murder by April 26, 2021. The Police in Italy recovered CCTV footage from 29 April, the day before authorities believe she was murdered, which they say shows three of the suspects walking with spades, a crowbar and a blue bag into the field near Saman’s house at around 7.30 pm. The three suspects were Hasnain, Nomanulhaq and Ijaz, said the police.
The three were again captured on the CCTV, two hours later, while returning home.
The next day, Saman allegedly overheard a conversation between her family and informed her boyfriend that they were conspiring to kill her. Saman had reportedly instructed her boyfriend to contact the police in two days if she hadn’t messaged him.
“Murder is the only solution for girls who disobey Pakistan’s strict honour codes”, said the girl’s uncle
Saman’s boyfriend told Italian newspaper Gazzetta di Reggio Emiliano that Saman texted him saying she had overheard her uncle saying that “murder is the only solution for girls who disobey Pakistan’s strict honour codes”.
More CCTV footage, which the police have not made public, shows Saman’s parents, Shabbar and Nazia, taking their daughter into the fields behind the farm at nine minutes past midnight on May 1.
Just after 13 minutes, the couple returned, with father Shabbar carrying a backpack that Saman had previously worn. Saman was allegedly handed over to her uncle Hasnain and cousins, Nomanulhaq and Ijaz, who were waiting in the fields. They then allegedly killed her and buried her body somewhere in the field, according to police.
Shabbas and Nazia then left for Pakistan, reportedly to see an ill cousin, while Ijaz headed into Europe. Hasnain returned home and stayed with Saman’s 16-year-old brother.
When the police went to Saman’s house searching for her, they found uncle Hasnain and Saman’s brother in the house. The police detained the brother while letting the uncle go. During interrogation, Saman’s brother told them of his suspicions that Hasnain orchestrated his sister’s killing with the help of his family and cousins.
The boy claims the whole family was afraid of Hasnain, who he believes strangled his sister to death. He claimed to have overheard the argument on the night his sister disappeared. Now, based on the teenager’s testimony, the Italian police have issued warrants for the family on suspicion of premeditated murder of the teenage girl.