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Justice for Seeta Kaur
Wed 7 December 2016, 18:30 – 20:30 GMT
SBS invites you to a public meeting to launch the campaign for justice for Seeta Kaur
Killed for Honour
On 31 March 2015, whilst on a family trip to India, Seeta Kaur - a 33 year old British national of Indian origin and the mother of four young children - died suddenly in highly suspicious circumstances at the home of her husband and in-laws. Her husband claims that Seeta died of a sudden heart attack. But evidence strongly suggests that Seeta was the victim of an honour killing planned in the UK and executed in India. Seeta suffered years of domestic violence for refusing her husband’s relentless demands to allow one of her two sons to be adopted by her childless brother-in-law and sister-in-law who live in India and who wanted a male heir. It would appear that Seeta’s husband was prepared to go to any lengths to fulfil his promise and maintain his honour.
The case has many parallels with the recent high profile case of Samia Shahid, a British national woman from Bradford, who was lured to Pakistan and killed in the name of honour for divorcing her first husband and marrying her second husband against her family’s wishes.
Seeta’s devastated family have struggled for over a year to obtain justice. They have been shunted from pillar to post by the Indian and British authorities. The Indian Police have failed abysmally in their duty to investigate Seeta’s death as a crime. In the UK, both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Metropolitan Police have declined to assist the family in any meaningful way. They have claimed that they have no role to play in the investigation of Seeta’s death, despite the fact that this is a potential honour killing of a British national and that their failure contravenes existing policies, guidance and human rights law on honour based violence.
This case raises fundamental questions about the lack of state accountability, particularly in cases where a British national is the victim of an honour killing perpetrated abroad. It would appear that far from protecting women or preventing and investigating crimes of honour, the government is discriminating against black and minority women and aiding and abetting a culture of impunity for perpetrators.
The government has signed (although not yet ratified) the Istanbul Convention, which requires the UK to protect from and prevent violence against women, and prosecute perpetrators who are nationals or resident in the UK - wherever they commit the act of violence. Despite this commitment, the state is hiding behind “lack of jurisdiction” as an excuse for not investigating Seeta’s death.
For more information see: www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/campaigns/justice-for-seeta.
Please join us in the launch of our campaign for justice for Seeta Kaur.
Chaired by: Nusrat Ghani MP
Geeta Nazmi and Swinder Singh, sisters of Seeta Kaur
Shamik Dutta, solicitor for Seeta Kaur's family
Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters
Kate Osamor, MP for Seeta Kaur's family
Syed Mukhtar, second husband of Samia Shahid
Naz Shah, MP for Syed Mukhtar