The Standard (St. Catharines)

Woman fearful of honour killing hopes to win appeal, avoid deportatio­n

IMMIGRATIO­N: Deportatio­n put on hold pending appeal I just want this to be over with and to get on with my life.” Roohi Tabassum


TORONTO — A hairstylis­t who claims she’ll be the victim of an honour killing by her ex-husband if deported is still receiving threats from him even though he’s in Pakistan, according to documents filed in court.

Roohi Tabassum, 44, of Brampton, last week won an appeal to have her case reviewed by immigratio­n officials. Her deportatio­n has been put on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

In letters presented in court, her ex-husband, Faisal Javed vowed “to finish” her off because she left him and came to Canada and works as a hairsytlis­t touching men’s hair. He is also outraged that she may have a boyfriend, which she denies.

“I just want this to be over with and to go on with my life,” she said Wednesday. “ The threats against me are still there but I am more careful now,” Tabassum said.

“I came here because Canada is the safest country,” she said. “But, even here I feel afraid of my ex-husband.”

Tabassum was smuggled into Canada from the U.S. in 2001 and filed a failed refugee claim. She faces removal to the U.S., then to Pakistan.

Justice Michael Kelen in a federal court decision last week cited a U.S. state department report that stated up to 1,500 women were killed in honour killings in Pakistan.

“Honour killings continue to be a problem, with women as the principal victims,” the report said. “Many more cases likely went unreported.”

Court heard “honour killings and cases of domestic abuse’ are rarely acted upon in Pakistan as police and judges view it as a family problem.”

“I am extremely optimistic because of the country situation re- port on Pakistan,” said Tabasssum’s lawyer, Max Berger.

“ Clearly her husband has threatened to kill her,” he said. “This is a very significan­t case.“

No date has been set for a review of the case.

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