Saman: “their culture” as a mitigating factor
The girl's marriage was "arranged and not forced" and in the judgment "the culture of the offender must also be taken into account": the reasons for the sentence (signed by female judges) for the brutal murder of the young Pakistani girl are disconcerting. As well as the self-sexism of the mother who would be the material executor of the crime. At this rate, according to Unicef projections, girls will continue to be sold to men for at least the next 300 years

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In the photo, a poster with Saman's face composed of photos of many women victims of male violence.

The story of Saman Abbas it's an open wound. Killed by her family three years ago, her hidden body found more than a year after her death. At the beginning of this year the funeral, with great participation of ordinary people. A few days ago the reasons for the sentence of the first instance trial of Saman's family last December: life imprisonment for parents Shabbar Abbas and Nazia Shaheen (a fugitive in Pakistan), 14 years for uncle Danish Hasnain, excluding premeditation.

We cannot remain silent about it some of the words put down in black and white by the judges and reported by the newspapers.

We read for example that the marriage that the parents wanted to impose on Saman - for which she had reported them - according to the Court was «combined and not forced».

And of course, in excluding base and frivolous motives, the Court warns us that "the culture of the offender must also be taken into account."

This interpretation is astounding. Forced marriages are a problem that feminists in those countries have always fought against, often in international indifference, and unfortunately also in thendifference of many women in institutionswho perhaps call themselves feminists.

Many girls, often sold to future "husbands" as children, before being delivered to man they set themselves on fire (see the investigation “Child brides” by Virginia Nesi, on 7 of 12 April 2024). It still happens and will continue to happen, he warns Too Young to Wed, one of the associations dealing with the problem in Afghanistan, adjacent to Pakistan, where Saman was born.

And it happens not only in those distant countries, but also in Europe and, we now know, in Italy. Indeed, in our country the phenomenon is growing.

Girls will continue to be sold for another 300 years, the estimates statistics of Unicef. Perhaps even more, and in increasingly larger numbers, given the desire to expressly protect that "culture" (those men) that sells girls, who considers women one trade goods and beasts of burden to be exploited as slaves at the same time for domestic work, for sex and for reproduction: this is the fate of the girls sold into these marriages who, in the words of the Court, would be «combined and not forced».

In the end, the document suggests that the perpetrator of the assassination may have been Saman's mother, While the father appears "troubled and conflicted" in the video in which the parents and uncle are seen accompanying the girl to her death.

A chilling hypothesis that brings to mind the 2011 crime of Maria Concetta Cacciola, a Calabrian girl born into a family from 'ndrangheta who chose to collaborate with the police and he died from ingesting muriatic acid. The investigators suspected that the acid had been poured down her throat by her mother, then convicted only for mistreatment together with the victim's father and brother.

Both stories tell of patriarchal “cultures” in which the family is a toxic environment and women are made enemies of each other (autosexism). Come on cultural parallels between radical Islam and the local mafia there would be a lot to say, but that's another story.

Maria Celeste

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