Mother of sisters killed in Pakistan: "Thank you for letting me come back"
Victims' mother and brother have already landed in Barcelona, where they will stay temporarily
BarcelonaShaheen Azra has returned to Catalonia. She is Arooj and Anisa Abbas's mother, the 24- and 21-year-old sisters from Terrassa killed in Pakistan for wanting to divorce their cousins, who they had been forced to marry a year ago. On her arrival, she interrupted the Pakistani consul to speak to the media: "I want to thank you. Thank you for letting me return and thanks to the Pakistani police, to the authorities here and especially to the Pakistani consulate in Barcelona for helping me". Thus, between sadness and gratitude, the woman and her youngest son, aged 13, landed early Sunday morning at El Prat airport, after an almost 24-hour flight.
The Pakistani police rescued Arooj and Anisa's mother and younger brother a few days ago, after the former said she had received death threats and feared for her life. Only after three days have arrived surrounded by strong security measures, flanked by six police officers and the Pakistani consul in Barcelona, Mirza Salman Baig.
Baig has explained that the victims' mother and younger brother will live temporarily in Barcelona, in a protected apartment. "She is very grateful for the treatment received, but, as you can imagine, she is strongly traumatised and asks the media for privacy, both for her and her family, to be able to overcome everything they are going through," said the consul, who assured that the investigation is still ongoing and that "there is a lot of evidence of the murders." "The investigation is being carried out very well and for an act like this the minimum sentence is 25 years," Baig added.
The girls' mother wanted to appear before the media, but did not give any other details of the investigation. "I don't know anything," she shyly summed up before the cameras that were waiting for her at the exit of El Prat airport's terminal 1 before leaving.
The honour killing that has shocked Catalonia
Anisa and Arooj Abbas, aged 20 and 24, lived in Terrassa, along with their father. Ten days ago, they were killed by some of their relatives in Pakistan, in a "trap" visit. The girls intended to divorce their cousins, to whom they had been forcibly married. The events happened on May 20, after the girls allegedly refused to allow the men they had married them to accompany them back to Catalonia "so they could emigrate to Spain", a refusal that triggered the double murder now being investigated as an honour killing.
The sisters were originally from Gujrat, in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab. As the country's police spokesman explained at the time, the two girls "were strangled and fatally shot in their sleep". A few hours later the police arrested six suspects, all relatives of the girls, as alleged perpetrators of the crime. Of these, a brothers and an uncle confessed to the murder.