Remains of Italian-Pakistani woman exhumed in ‘honour killing’ probe

Remains of Italian-Pakistani woman exhumed in 'honour killing' probe
A local journalist shows a story published by an Italian news site regarding Sana Cheema, an Italian woman of Pakistani origin, in the neighborhood of Mangowal, near Gujrat, Pakistan, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Pakistani authorities have exhumed the body of Sana Cheema who police suspect was killed by her father and uncle for refusing an arranged marriage. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Islamabad: The remains of an Italian woman of Pakistani origin, who was killed in an alleged case of honour killing, were exhumed by police on Wednesday.

Sana Cheema, 26, died while visiting family in Pakistan’s Gujrat district and was buried last week without an autopsy. Police launched an investigation earlier this week after allegations she had been murdered went viral online.

It was reported on Tuesday that the woman was killed by her father, brother and uncle over “honour”. But her family said she died of an “unspecified illness” and buried the body on April 18, the Pakistan media reports said.

Geo News cited police as saying that the girl’s father, identified as Ghulam Mustafa, wanted to marry her off to one of his relatives in Pakistan but Cheema wanted to get married in Italy. The father then took on board his son, Adnan Mustafa, and brother, Mazhar Iqbal, and hatched a plan to kill her.

A case was registered against three suspects on April 23, who were yet to be arrested. Police said they were awaiting results from a post-mortem examination to determine whether Cheema was murdered and whether her relatives should be charged.

The case made headlines across Italy and a campaign to find out the truth about Cheema’s death went viral on social media. Women’s March — Milan called people to post pictures demanding #JusticeforSana and #TruthforSana.

The Italian Foreign Ministry said that it was keeping an eye on the case, adding that it was determined to reach to the bottom of it. It also offered to cooperate with Pakistani authorities over the issue.