Pakistan-origin Italian woman killed in 'honour killing' row
Pakistan authorities on Wednesday exhumed the body of a Pakistan origin Italian woman who was allegedly murdered by her neighbour in an "honour" killing case.
According to the victim’s family, 26-year-old Sana Cheema was murdered in the neighbourhood of Mangowal in the city of Gujrat in Punjab on April 18. According to her family, she had died of natural causes a week ago within the jurisdiction of the Kunjah police station and was buried without an autopsy being conducted.
The police have taken most of the suspects into custody but they are still looking for the prime suspect, who appears to be on the run.
Cheema's father, brother and uncle are currently being held in custody for questioning but have not been charged, added Gujrat police officer Mudassar Sajjad.
News of Cheema’s death was reported in a local Italian newspaper, Giornale di Brescia, and members of the Pakistani community in Brescia, Italy, had held a demonstration over the weekend, demanding to know the truth about her death.
As per reports, Cheema's father had asked her to come back to get her married which then led to a confrontation with a nearby family who rejected an offer of a match. However, because of the rejection Cheema refused to eat, fell ill and died.
According to Italian media, Cheema had wanted to marry a man from Brescia who, like her, was a second-generation immigrant with Italian citizenship.
Police have refused to comment on the possible cause of death, saying that would be determined by the autopsy report.
The Italian foreign ministry has said that it is following the case through its embassy in Islamabad, which is gathering information to define the circumstances surrounding Ms Cheema’s death.