Educated and strong-willed, Samaira Nazir wanted to live and love freely without fear.
Samaira studied travel and tourism at Thames University, and while running the family’s recruitment agency, she fell in love with Afghan immigrant, Salman Mohommed. For several years, the couple worked together and kept their relationship a secret. Salman told jurors during the trial “we were as boyfriend and girlfriend for about five or six years. But we couldn’t tell her family because Samaira said her father was a very strict man who would not allow any female in his family to marry outside of his circle and tribe. We had discussed marriage. Samaira wanted to tell her family herself.”
Samaira’s family was offended by her rejections of Pakistani suitors for her arranged marriage, so when she and Salman announced their engagement, tempers within Saimaira’s family escalated dangerously. “Her father was very upset and said I was only after their money,” Salman told jurors. Enraged by the news, Samaira’s father lunged at Salman with a knife.
In April 2005, Samaira was summoned to her parent’s house in Southall, Middlesex. Standing by her decision and love she was ready to confront the family. What started as a heated argument turned into a brutal attack, as Samaira was held down and stabbed repeatedly by her father, cousin and brother. A neighbor heard the commotion and banged on the front door, but was sent away by Samaira’s father, who claimed his daughter was simply having a fit.
Samaira broke free from her attackers and tried to escape. Only her blood-covered arm made it through the front door before she was dragged back into the house by her hair. Bleeding from 18 stab wounds, Samaira continued to fight for her life. Samaira was heard from outside the home shouting “You are not my mother anymore!” A silk scarf was then tied around her neck, and her throat was slit three times. Police found Samaira drenched with blood in the home along with her traumatized, blood-splattered two and four-year-old nieces. Police believe that the girls were ordered to watch as a warning to them of what happens to disobedient women.
In July 2006, Samaira’s brother and cousin were sentenced to life in prison. Her father was also charged, but he fled to Pakistan and is still in hiding. Charges against Samaira’s mother were dropped.
After the trial Nazir Afzal of the Crown Prosecution Service, said “Samaira was murdered because she loved the wrong person, in her family’s eyes. It was an ‘honour killing’ to protect the perceived status of the family, to mark their disapproval. We hope the investigation and prosecution will deter others who may wish to harm family members because of practices that are as tragic as they are outdated.”
Love is grace,
Love is glory,
Love is her eyes when they meet his.
Love is when the heart speaks,
And the mind whispers,
of God and beauty.
Love is her kindness,
Love is her light,
Love is the synchronized breathing
Of two birds in flight,
Love is being set free,
From the chains that binds thee.
Dearest…. Love will be waiting for you,
With outstretched arms and big open hearts.
Love will be waiting for you,
when justice speaks, and truth is heard.
Love is waiting.
Messages in “Samaira Nazir”