The parents of a 17-year old girl will serve at least 25 years in a British prison for killing their daughter over her choice to live a "Westernized" lifestyle and become a lawyer, CNN reports.
Iftikar and Farzana Ahmed were sentenced to life in prison by Chester Crown Court Judge Roderick Evans, CNN reports. Judge Evans said the couple would be in jail for at least 25 years before being eligible for parole.
According to AFP , the couple, originally from Pakistan, suffocated their daughter Shafilea in 2003.
Shafilea's sister Alesha testified that her mother said, "Just finish it here" while forcing a a bag in Shafilea's mouth as her siblings watched.
Two of Shafilea's other siblings, her brother Junyard and sister Mevish, remained loyal to their parents. According to The Telegraph, minutes after seeing Shafilea murdered, Junyard told his surviving sisters that she "deserved it."
Shafilea's body was found in a riverbank in 2004, CNN reports.
According to The Telegraph, Shafilea's strict Muslim parents escaped justice for nearly nine years for accusing police of stereotyping them after her body was found.
Shafilea's death was a result of Iftikar and Farzana Ahmeds' frustration over her refusal to conform to their Muslim beliefs, CNN reports.
They felt her Western habits, such as wearing make-up and talking to boys, brought "shame" to the family AFP reports.
At sentencing, Judge Roderick Evans told the couple, "Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child."
According to The Telegraph, Iftikar Ahmed wasn't always so strict. He was previously married to a Danish woman. The couple had a child and enjoyed going out for drinks and dancing. Iftikar had an affair with Farzana and got her pregnant before they eventually married.
Like many teenagers, Shafilea always clashed with her parents over things like clothing and boyfriends, but the Ahmeds began taking things a bit further.
According to AFP, In 2003, Shafilea was drugged and taken to Pakistan to be forced into an arranged marriage with a much older man.
The very thought of this terrified Shaiflea so much that she drank bleach. She was taken back to the UK and spent 8 weeks in a hospital.
After sentencing Friday, Melissa Powner, Shafilea's friend, told reporters the Ahmeds' conviction "brought our friend the justice she deserves."
"If there is one thing that we pray will come from this, it is that her beautiful face and tragic story will inspire others to seek help and make them realize that this kind of vile treatment, no matter what culture or background they are from, is not acceptable, and there is a way out," Powner said.