"We lost our honour. They [his three daughters and his first wife] betrayed us immensely. They violated us immensely."
"There can be no betrayal, no treachery, no violation more than this."
"Honour was a recurrent theme of discussions among the appelants after the deaths of the deceased."
Ontario Court of Appeal
"The notion of honour and of killing another person motivated by besmirched honour originated with Shafia, not with Dr. Mujab. Recall Shafia's diatribe about the importance of honour."
"Charitably put, the evidence of guilt was overwhelming."
Justice David Watt, Court of Appeal for Ontario
This family, originally from Afghanistan, emigrated from there to Canada, living in Montreal. The three teen daughters chafed at the demands made of them by their parents, particularly their father, supported by their mother, Mohammad Shafia's second wife, whom he married while still married to his first wife Rona Amir Mohammad and whom he brought with the family to Canada. The girls' father fumed at their disgraceful conduct, being seen in public with young men who were in fact their boyfriends. Rona Amir Mohammad cherished the girls, acted in the capacity of a trusted 'aunt'.
Her support of the teen-aged girls who resented and struggled against the confined nature of their upbringing infuriated their father and their mother. Their brother, the oldest of the Shafia children at 18 was perfectly comfortable in the traditional role of a male in strict Islamist Sharia law and the culture prevailing in Afghanistan among Islam's orthodox faithful. Hamed Shafia aided his parents in their zeal to restore honour to the family by planning to murder the three daughters and their supportive 'aunt'.
|The bodies of Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, along with Rona Mohammad Amir, 50, were found in the family’s Nissan, submerged in a lock on the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont., on June 30, 2009.|
All four of the women were discovered, trapped in one of the family vehicles which was found submerged int he water near Kingston, Ontario at the Kingston Mills locks. Autopsies concluded they had all drowned. An unfortunate event that the three accused, father, mother and son denied they had anything to do with, despite evidence to the contrary, including Internet searches for methods of disposal of unwanted impediments to honour. And material evidence linking another vehicle used by the son, to that of the submerged vehicle.
While at trial in 2012 the prosecution held the deaths to be planned and deliberate, the three accused arguing that the deaths, while certainly sad, were completely accidental. Evidence in the form of vicious remarks about his daughters spoken contemptuously by Mohammad Shafia after their deaths when police had installed listening devices, certainly went far to furthering the prosecution's case, and convincing jurors that they had little option but to find all three guilty of first-degree murder.
Making reference to one's dead teen-age daughters characterizing them as "whores" hardly befits the role of a grieving father. The family had chosen to appeal to have the verdict finding them guilty as charged overturned on the basis of trial error. The presence of a professor from the University of Toronto who was an expert on honour killings as a key witness to give testimony, was one of the gounds raised on appeal; that the evidence of Shahzrad Mojab was prejudicial.
The Canadian Press Ontario court rejects appeal by Shafia family over honour killings
"It turned out that he [a non-Muslim prisoner] felt so intimidated by Shafia and some of his lieutenants, that he chose to give up his relative freedom of movement on the range in the general population for a much more restricted life on a social isolation range."
"He could no longer come to see me. I had to go to his cell on the isolation range. He advised me that confinement was worth it to avoid the hassle of dealing with 'the Muslims'."
"This man [Mohammad Shafia] was obnoxious in manner, demanding of the Protestant and Catholic chaplains, and generally offensive."
"The normally pleasant atmosphere associated with the Muslims gathering for prayers was absent. Inmates on the same range as Shafia who came to see me expressed fear of him."
Kingston Penitentiary Psychologist Robert Groves, testifying before the national security and defence committee hearing on security threats facing Canada, May 2015
|Tooba Mohammad Yahya is escorted by police officers into the Frontenac County courthouse in Kingston on Wednesday, January 18. 2012. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)|