Dead girl’s sister tells of their parents’ abuse

A COUPLE allegedly murdered their “westernised” teenage daughter because they believed her conduct was bringing shame on the family, a court heard yesterday.

Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed are accused of killing their daughter Shafilea, 17, in the family home in September 2003.

The murder was allegedly witnessed by Shafilea’s younger sister, Alesha, who kept the secret for seven years.

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Alesha, 23, was brought into court yesterday and gave her evidence behind a curtain which blocked her from the view of her parents and the public gallery.

Farzana Ahmed, 49, wiped tears from her eyes as her daughter answered questions from prosecutor Andrew Edis.

Alesha told the court that the girls had grown up in a “restrictive” Pakistani culture.

She said of her sister: “I think she found it difficult, which is why it emerged she was living a life my parents didn’t know about. It was kind of a secret life.”

Asked what would happen when Shafilea came into conflict with her parents, Alesha said: “She was physically abused.”

She said the violence was triggered by her sister’s white friends, music and non-traditional clothes.

Alesha also spoke about the family trip to Pakistan in February 2003, saying she believed it was her parents’ intention to keep Shafilea there, though the children were told the trip was to attend “family weddings”.

The trial continues.