Murder victim’s mother denied Swedish visa

The mother of a young Afghan victim of a suspected honor killing in Sweden last year has been denied a visa to enter the country for his funeral for fear that she will seek permanent residence, a group representing the woman said on Friday.

“The mother has asked to come to Sweden to be at his funeral and to be present at the trial” of his suspected murderers, said Sara Mohammad, who founded the “Do Not Forget Fadima and Pela” organization in memory of two victims of honor killings in the country.

“That her request for a visa has been turned down is inhumane and shocking,” she told AFP, adding that “we are not going to let this lie. We will continue to fight for her.”

Abbas Rezai, a 20-year-old student, was found stabbed to death last November in the home of another Afghan family in southern Sweden.

He was reportedly secretly engaged to the 16-year-old daughter in the house, who the family wanted to marry a cousin living in Denmark.

“There is suspicion that he (Rezai) was killed because they felt he was not good enough for the daughter, and there is reason to believe that this is the case,” Ulf Karlsson, a spokesman for the Kalmar police in southeastern Sweden, told AFP.

He pointed out however that the 17-year-old son in the family, who has claimed responsibility for the crime, has said it was the result of an argument.

The mother, father and son remain in custody and could face charges next week, Karlsson said, adding that Rezai’s body was being held by police pending a decision on his burial.

The Swedish Migration Board on Friday confirmed that Rezai’s mother and three of her children, all currently living in Iran, had been denied entry visas.

“We consider that there is a risk that they will try to stay in Sweden,” Migration Board official Annette Grafen Silander told AFP, insisting that it was unclear if Rezai would be buried in Sweden and pointing out that the mother and her children had failed to show that they had means to leave the country once they had entered.

“Abbas’ mother is crying all the time, and they are pushing her for proof that she will leave … It’s embarrassing for Sweden,” Mohammad said.