In August 2006, in the North Italian city of Brescia, Pakistani immigrant Mohammed Saleem killed his 20 year old daughter, Hina Saleem. It was one of the first publicised cases of “honour killing” in modern Italy.
Hina was living with her Italian boyfriend at the time. She had refused to come home and change her ways and had reportedly refused to marry a man chosen by her family to be her husband. Her father Mohammed then called a meeting with the men in the family to discuss how to handle Hina. He ended her life, by slitting her throat 28 times and was helped in burying her in their family home back garden in the town of Sarezzo.
In November 2007 he and two brothers-in-law were convicted of murdering Hina. The court in the northern city of Brescia sentenced each of the three to 30 years in prison for the slaying. In addition, the girl’s uncle was convicted of helping hide her body. He was sentenced to two years and eight months.
In February 2011, the BBC were granted an interview with Mohammed Saleem from his prison cell, to find out why he killed Hina.
In the BBC interview Mohammed Saleem says:
‘I didn’t want to kill her. I wanted her to come back home.”
“I’m a good father, my daughter was a very good daughter before. Then all of a sudden, she changed.”
“I didn’t want my daughter to be too free, having drugs on the streets.”
‘I will choose’, said her eyes
Alight with a glow,
Streaming through her veins.
Alight her eyes were,
No human could dim them,
Not even those with brutal means
And evil intentions,
Of dimming the flame
‘I will love’ said her being
Herself most of all.
‘I will decide’ said her life
In the way she chose to live it.
You will choose.
For where you are there is choice,
Of running free,
Of reaching far,
Of beauty in truth,
And that light in your eyes,
Is enough to light up a dark night,
Wherein another lost one wonders.
For your life will be a lamp
On this dark road to where justice lives.
Your eyes, the very source of light.
Messages in “Hina Saleem”