Afghan Family Found Guilty of Honor Killings

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A Canadian jury on Sunday found three members of a Muslim family guilty in an "honor killing" case.

An Afghan-born immigrant, his wife, and eldest son killed the man's three teenage daughters because they dishonored their family by defying Muslim rules on dress, dating, and socializing.

The man's second wife from a polygamous relationship was also murdered.

The victims bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ontario, where the family had stopped for the night on the way home to Montreal from Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. First-degree murder in Canada carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

"It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honorless crime," Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger said after the verdict was read.

"The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honor. That has absolutely no place in any civilized society," he added.

In a statement following the verdict, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson called honor killings a practice that is "barbaric and unacceptable in Canada."

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