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The crimes that dishonour us all
In September 2003 seventeen year old Shafilea Ahmed was about to leave home to spend an evening with friends when an argument broke out with her parents over what she was wearing. Shortly after she was dead, suffocated with a plastic bag.
Like so many second or third generation British Pakistani girls, Shafilea had white friends, wanted to wear western clothes, and had ambitions to become a lawyer. Instead, she drank bleach as a cry for help when her parents tried to marry her to a cousin in Pakistan. Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed, both facing long stretches in prison for murder, have now become the latest in a growing number of Europeans accused and convicted of what have become known as "honour killings".
In 2010 the UK saw a 47% rise in honour-related crimes, and officials working with the police believe the figure to be much higher.
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