British court convicts parents in 'honor' murder
London (CNN) -- The parents of a 17-year-old girl will spend at least 25 years in a British prison for the death of their daughter after the couple's conviction Friday for killing her over her desire to live a Westernized lifestyle and become an attorney, a court spokeswoman said Friday.
Chester Crown Court Judge Roderick Evans sentenced Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed to life in prison. He said the couple, who were originally from Pakistan, must be imprisoned for at least 25 years before being eligible for parole.
The sentence came hours after the court found them guilty of murder in the death of Shafilea Ahmed. The girl's dismembered body was found on a riverbank in February 2004, months after she disappeared in 2003.
The death was the final act in a long-running effort by the couple to get their daughter to conform to their beliefs, Detective Superintendent Geraint Jones told reporters.
"When this failed, they murdered her, a vile and disgraceful act," he said.
In sentencing the couple, Evans said they had used "intimidation, bullying and ... physical violence" in an effort to force her to adopt ways they viewed as more culturally appropriate.
"Your problem was that, in what you referred to as your 'community,' Shafilea's conduct was bringing shame upon you and your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than your love of your child," Evans told the couple, according to a transcript provided by court officials. "In order to rid yourselves of that problem, you killed Shafilea by suffocating her in the presence of your other four children."
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