LONDON: A Pakistani family in Birmingham thought their pregnant daughter-in-law was possessed of jinn and they smothered her to death in order to “get the jinn out of her.’
Four family members, including the victim’s husband and his parents, were jailed for life yesterday by a Birmingham court.
According to the court verdict, 21-year-old Naila Mumtaz was six months pregnant when she was killed by her family members in July 2009 in their home in Handsworth Wood in Birmingham, thinking she was possessed of jinn or evil spirits.
During the trial, the family contested that the woman had suffocated herself to death.
Among those jailed are the victim’s husband, Mohammed Tauseef Mumtaz, 25, his father Zia ul-Haq, mother Salma Aslam and his brother-in-law Hammad Hassan.
The trial had ended in July with their conviction.
The victim had married her husband despite the fact that he suffered from a genetic deformity that leads to a shortened neck. The marriage took place in Pakistan 14 months before her killing, according to the Daily Mail.
Just a day before her death, the victim had called her parents in Pakistan to tell them that her husband suspected her of having got pregnant during her trip to Pakistan.
But the judge didn’t take this factor into consideration.
Since there is a widespread belief in jinns (evil spirits) in Pakistan, the judge said, “‘That’s not an easy thing for those of us in the West to understand, but the evidence (from the trial) was that a belief in jinns is widespread in the community in which they lived.’’
Each of the convicted will serve a minimum of 13 to 15 years in jail.