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A B.C. woman and her brother, accused of masterminding the murder of her 25-year-old daughter in the year 2000 will now be extradited to India as the Supreme Court of Canada finally ruled.

Jassi Sidhu’s body was dumped in a canal after likely by her own mother and uncle after having her throat was slashed.

This was most likely due to her secretly marrying a man of much lower social status instead of the older man her family had arranged for her to wed in Canada.

Her husband, Sukhwinder (Mithu) Sidhu was badly beaten and left for dead as well, but he survived.

It is the theory of the Indian government that Jassi was the victim of an “honour killing” arranged by her mother and uncle, the judgment reads.

Honour Killings

An honor killing (also spelled honour, see spelling differences) or a shame killing is the homicide of a member of a family, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family, or has violated the principles of a community or a religion, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, engaging in non-heterosexual relations or renouncing a faith

Last Attempts

Lawyers for the accused argued before the Supreme Court in March that those assurances were not enough to protect the pair, and that sending them to India would violate their constitutional rights under Sec 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Section 7 guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and was argued as India does maintain the death penalty while Canada does not.

Government lawyers argued the global system of justice, and the extradition treaties they rely on could be undermined if Canada refused to send the pair to face trial in India.

Rise in Canadian Honour Killings

The Sidhu’s are sadly not the first case which involves honour killings in Canada. The father and brother of a slain Mississauga, Ont., teen were sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the December 2007 murder of Aqsa Parvez, a 16-year-old girl of Pakistani descent who wanted to wear western clothing and get a part-time job like her fellow Canadian students.

There is the case of Muhammad Shafia, his second wife, Tooba Muhammad Yahya, and their son, Hamed Shafia, accused of killing Shafia’s first wife and three daughters, who were found in a vehicle submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ont.

An Afghan mother was arrested in Montreal, accused of stabbing her 19-year-old daughter after she stayed out all night in a case that’s now being probed as a possible honour crime.

Moving Forward

In either case, this scenario shows that the dangers of honor killings are real, and in reality, Canada must protect itself, and it’s culture from these potential ideological threats. We must ensure that all new members of society renounce such ideas and enter Canadian society free of such violent beliefs.

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