Monday, April 27, 2009

Judge's mercy prevents honor killing, for now

But woman who fears husband's wrath may yet be sent to her death

Posted: April 27, 2009
11:17 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn

Roohi Tabassum

This afternoon, a judge placed a temporary stay on deporting a Pakistani woman who feared her husband would kill her if she were reunited with him.

Roohi Tabassum has been a refugee living for years in Mississauga, Ontario, making a living as a hairdresser, while filing for permanent refugee residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Her husband, Faisal Javed, however, has been living in Dubai and has been sending her written death threats, saying she has dishonored him by touching the hair of both men and women at the salon where she works.

"If I go back I will be killed, and because of me, some of my relatives will be in trouble too," Tabassum told the Toronto Star. "I don't want to go to Pakistan."

Tabassum showed the Star letters, purportedly from her husband, threatening her with an "honor killing" if she were deported.

One, from 2006, states, "Nobody here is in your favor. I am also very combative to you. If you are here, I could not leave you alive."

Another from 2007 states, "I will finish you myself."

A video of Tabassum's story, produced by the Toronto Sun, can be seen below:
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