Culture And Media

Italy: Pakistani girl 'leaps from balcony after refusing arranged marriage'

Alessandria, 2 July (AKI) - A 15-year-old Pakistani girl was hospitalised after reportedly jumping from a balcony in the northern Italian town of Alessandria.

She had refused an arranged marriage with a 16-year-old Pakistani.

"My parents had already been in touch with his and told me I would be marrying him. I have nothing against him but I do not love him," Turin-based La Stampa daily quoted the girl as telling police from her hospital bed on Wednesday.

La Stampa called the girl 'Piccola' and said medics had operated on fractures to her legs sustained after falling from the family's balcony onto a roof below.

Piccola, who has grown up in Italy, is said to be well integrated here. She wears western-style clothes and has Italian schoolfriends.

"I told my parents that I didn't love the boy and why should I live with him?" Piccola reportedly told the police.

Piccola said she did not reproach her parents for their choice, but said she had felt desperate to escape the fate they had chosen for her.

Neighbours described Piccola and her family as "good, really polite people, all of them."

The neighbourhood of Alessandria the family lives in, Cristo, is respectable and is home to generations of immigrants, La Stampa reported.

The previous centre-left Italian government issued a 'charter of values' for immigrants after the tragic case of another young Pakistani girl, Hina Saleem who was murdered by male relatives in August 2006.

Hina's father Mohammed, confessed to slitting 20-year-old Hina's throat for 'dishonouring the family' because she lived with an Italian man, wore jeans and worked in a pizzeria.

Mohammed and two male relatives were each sentenced last year to 30 years in jail for Hina's murder. A blue-collar worker, Mohammed had been living in Italy as a legal immigrant for decades and was in the process of applying for Italian citizenship.




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