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Italy seeks extradition of missing teen's parents from Pakistan

The announcement comes after the missing girl's uncle was arrested in Paris for alleged involvement in the murder

September 24, 2021
The headquarters of Italys Ministry of Justice in Rome. Photo — Facebook/Ministero della Giustizia
The headquarters of Italy's Ministry of Justice in Rome. Photo — Facebook/Ministero della Giustizia

ROME: Italy has asked Pakistan to extradite the parents of a missing teenage girl, who is suspected to have been murdered by her family for refusing an arranged marriage.

The announcement was made Thursday after the uncle of 18-year-old Saman Abbas had been arrested in Paris, accused of her murder alongside her parents and two of her cousins.

The case has sparked outrage in Italy and has become front-page news since police began investigating the teenager's disappearance in May. Her body has yet to be found.

"Justice Minister Marta Cartabia... has signed and sent to Pakistan the two extradition requests for the parents of Saman Abbas, who are under investigation for the murder of their daughter," the justice ministry said Thursday.

Prosecutors had on Wednesday announced the arrest on a European warrant of the teenager's uncle on the outskirts of Paris.

Saman Abbas, who lived in the northern Italian town of Novellara, last year refused her family's plan to have her marry a cousin in their home country of Pakistan.

While still a minor, she turned to social services and in November was moved into a shelter home. She also reported her parents to the police, but on April 11 returned to them.

Police began searching for her on May 5, when officers visited her house and found nobody.

Officers then discovered that the girl's parents had left for Pakistan without her, and found images from a nearby security camera that made them fear the worst.

Late on April 29, five people could be seen walking off from the house holding shovels, a crowbar and a bucket, and returning after about two-and-a-half hours.

One cousin accused in the case is currently in jail in Italy.