Shafelia's Parents guilty of murder

The verdict comes nine years after the brutal killing of Warrington teenager Shafelia Ahmed. 52 year old Iftikhar Ahmed and his wife Farzana who is 49, suffocated Shafilea, 17, with a plastic bag in 2003 in an apparent ``honour killing''.

 Shafilea's sister Alesha told the jury at Chester Crown Court her parents pushed Shafilea onto the settee in their house and she heard her mother say ``just finish it here'' as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager's mouth and killed her in front of their other children.

 Iftikhar Ahmed stood impassively as the verdicts were given. Mrs Ahmed wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue. Their children Junyad, Mevish and the youngest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all broke down in tears. Mevish Ahmed put her head in her hands and wept as the judge began discussing sentencing. The seven men and five women of the jury returned two unanimous verdicts after deliberating for around 11 hours. 

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation, said: ``Justice has finally been done. It's taken a long time for this case to be resolved so we pay tribute to the police and the courts. ``The strong message goes out and should be very clear: if you engage in honour killings, if you engage in forced marriages, you will be caught and brought to justice.'' ``Honour killings go against Islam. Islam totally forbids honour killings, it forbids forced marriages and if anybody thinks somehow that they are doing these actions as a result of their faith, then they are seriously misguided. I have spoken to a lot of Muslim scholars and it's very clear that these people should not be behaving in this way. We should not be forcing our sons and daughters to marry people.''

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