Hina Saleem

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In memory of Hina Saleem


Hina Saleem (19 December 1985 โ€“ 11 August 2006) was a Pakistani woman resident in Italy who was killed in an honour killing, in Zanano di Sarezzo, province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy.

Saleem was born in Gujrat, Pakistan. Her father Mohammed Saleem began living in Italy circa 1996 and worked in a saucepan factory there. Hina worked as a server at a pizza parlour and had an Italian boyfriend, a carpenter, who she cohabitated with.

Mohammed expressed disagreement with Hina's life choices after the family arrived in Italy, complaining about her Westernisation due to the Western boyfriend and her habit of smoking cigarettes, and he instead wanted her in an arranged marriage. Authorities stated that the family gave considerable pressure against Hina to get her to return to Pakistan for marriage. Peter Popham of The Independent wrote that in regards to Hina and her family, "Her relations with them had been strained for years."

While Saleem was of immigrant origins and resident in northern Italy, honour killings had been an issue with the native southern Italian population; the laws previously allowed for pardoning of crimes for honour reasons, but this was removed in 1981.

Mohammad contacted her and asked her to come to the house in Brescia to meet a cousin visiting in the area. There Mohammad slit Hina's throat twenty-eight times. Hina's boyfriend reported her missing on Saturday 19 August 2006 and the Carabinieri searched the house, finding the body buried in the garden and blood in Hina's bedroom.

Saleem was buried in the Muslim section of Cimitero monumentale di Brescia [it] (a.k.a. Cimitero Vantiniano) in Brescia. Mohammad received a prison sentence of 30 years. In 2016 Saleem's mother stated that she forgave her husband, and that the media articles inaccurately portrayed the family as being against western culture when this was not the case.

On 11 August 2007, the Centro di salute internazionale e medicina transculturale (Centre of International and Intercultural Health) of Brescia, was dedicated to Hina.

Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato stated that the event made him reconsider a plan to reduce the waiting period for Italian citizenship; he previously proposed reducing it from ten to five. Popham wrote the event "has sparked a fierce debate in Italy about how to deal with the "clash of civilisations"." L'Osservatore Romano criticised the event.

Marco Ventura and Giommaria Monti co-wrote a book called Hina: questa รจ la mia vita ("Hina: This is my life").

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