The Death of Shafiela Ahmed

A lot of people feel that honor killings happen “over there” in the Middle East or in other remote Asian countries. Back in 2003, on English soil, Shafilea Ahmed, a 17-year-old British Pakistani woman, was murdered by her parents.

It all started when Shafilea went to visit Pakistan in 2003. During her trip, she swallowed bleach in what was reported to be a suicide attempt. Her father, on the other hand, claimed that it wasn’t a suicide attempt that she mistakenly drank the bleach thinking it was water during a blackout. Her throat became very damaged and she was required frequent medical treatment. Meanwhile, the media reported that she turned down an arranged marriage during her trip to Pakistan.

She disappeared on September 11, 2003. After a week long manhunt, and noticing that Shafiela didn’t seek medical attention for her throat detectives started to believe that she was potentially murdered.

In February 2004 her body was found. The body was badly decomposed and the cause of death could not be determined.

A break in the case came in August of 2010. When the Ahmed family home was burglarized, Shafilea’s younger sister admitted to the police that her parents had murdered her sister. She then went on to explain the details of how her father and mother conspired and executed Shafilea.

On September 7, 2011, her parents were charged with murder. On August 3, 2012, they were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years. Below is a documentary that details much of the case: