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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Pakistanis in Italy murder trial
By Mark Duff
BBC News, Milan

A court in the north Italian city of Brescia has begun hearing the case against a Pakistani immigrant accused of having killed his own daughter.

It is alleged he did so because she had become too Western in her dress and manners. It could be the first case of "honour killing" in modern Italy.

Hina Saleem, 20, had worked as a waitress. She had an Italian boyfriend and wore Western clothes and make-up.

Police found blood all over her bedroom at the family home last August.

Police also found her body in a shallow grave. Her throat had been slit.

Prosecutors believe her father killed her after discussing the matter at a council of male family members because she refused to change her ways and return to Pakistan for an arranged marriage.

At Thursday's hearing, a female judge opened and adjourned the case against Hina's father and three other male relatives accused of killing her.

Outside, a group of Muslim women demonstrated their solidarity with the victim - carrying a banner proclaiming "I am Hina". They were supported by the right-wing Italian MP Daniela Santanche - who was given police protection last year after being branded an infidel for comments she had made about the Muslim veil.

Hina Saleem is now buried in the area reserved for Muslims at Brescia's Vantiniano cemetery. An earlier court hearing refused her family's request for her remains to be returned to Pakistan.

'Honour killers' expect to walk free
05 Feb 07 |  South Asia


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