Three members of a single family were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for what Canadian prosecutors say was an honor killing. But they continue to claim innocence.
According to the Globe and Mail, Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and his son Hamed Shafia were convicted of killing three of Mohammad Shafia's teenage daughters and his first wife by pushing their car into a canal. Prosecutors say the three defendants killed the women because the two older teens had started dating boys and Shafia's first wife Rona Mohammad wanted to get out of her marriage. Back in 2009, when the crimes were discovered, there was a lot of debate over whether they were true honor killings — Rona Mohammad's sister alleged that they were, but some said the Shafia family weren't particularly religious. And a law professor cautioned against overusing the term "honor killing": "From a social perspective, you don't want to criminalize a community by associating them with a particular, heinous act of violence."