Sandeela Kanwal

Sandeela Kanwal, 25, USA.

Sandeela traveled with her family to Pakistan for an arranged marriage. Her husband stayed in Pakistan, while the family returned to their home in Atlanta, Georgia. Months later, he moved to the US, and after a brief time with his wife in Atlanta, he moved to Chicago.  “She was very unhappy with the marriage, had not seen the husband in three months and was seeking a divorce,” said Timothy Owens, a spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department.

In July of 2008, Sandeela filed for divorce. When her father, Chaudhry Rashid, found out about his daughter’s intentions, it caused conflict within the family. After Sandeela got home from working a late shift at Wal-Mart on July 6th, Sandeela and Chaudhry got into an argument, and at 1:55, Sandeela’s stepmother made a 911 call. “I hear a lot of hollering and screaming,” she told the 911 dispatcher “And I just woke up and I asked my family what’s going on. They’re from Pakistan. They’re not speaking any English to me. They’re not telling me nothing. Sandeela’s dead. Sandeela’s dead.”

Police arrived on the scene to find Sandeela dead on her bedroom floor and Chaudhry sitting cross-legged in the driveway, smoking a cigarette. Chaudhry confessed he killed his daughter because “she wasn’t being true to her religion or to her husband.” Chaundry has been on trial for the honour killing, but there have been many delays on the case due to Miranda protection discrepancies and privacy issues with taped evidence. The rest of Sandeela’s family plans to plead the fifth and say nothing to convict Chaudhry.



There was misty dew on the leaves that morning,

That sparrow that sang of freedom was quiet.

A silence hung around the space

That was you.


Earth lost a beloved one.

One whose heart desired to be, but herself.

Just like the dew, the sparrow, the red Earth.

The silence.


May you have met that dawn,

Where the dew rise up in your name,

Where the sparrow sings mellifluous in your honor,

And oleanders bloom in your light.

The space, where you will be, forever free.




Messages in “Sandeela Kanwal”

  1. JA says:

    Rest in peace beautiful angel.

  2. Alex Pierce says:

    I wish we could have known you.

    I’ll do whatever I can to keep other girls and women in your situation from meeting the same fate.

  3. Allurielle says:

    May we see what darkness has fallen before, upon the light of those who live free and rise up in honour of peace and freedom and give what once was taken, liberty.

    May we honour you in our fight for equality and the end of honour crimes.

    Rest in peace Sandeela Kanwal

Leave a Reply to Allurielle