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Posted in: Honor Killings

Published on Jul 06, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Afshan Azad Retracts Nothing

Important Update From the Ministry of Magic


Potential honor killing victim, Harry Potter actress, Afshan Azad, may not have been the one who asked that charges against her father and brother be dropped. One of my wonderful readers, a legal secretary, read the British media more carefully than I did and pointed out that Afshan herself is simply not on record as saying that she wanted the charges dropped or that she wanted to retract anything. While she may have said this, we have absolutely no record of her having done so. I did not note that this quote about dropping the charges was attributed to the lawyer, John Wolfson, who is representing the jailed father and brother.

On both July 3 and again on July 4 the lawyer, John Wolfson, said that Afshan had asked that charges be dropped. I was wrong to attribute Wolfson's words to the potential victim. In an exchange with the sharp-eyed legal secretary, she told me:

"I have not been in contact with Ms. Azad. (If I were, I would give her the exact same warning you're giving her). I simply smelled a rat yesterday when I read the report that she'd tried "three times" to retract her statement. My first reaction was exactly like yours – I believed it and I was horrified. But when I scrolled down the body of the text, I discovered that wasn't Ms. Azad who'd said it – it was instead the attorney for her father and brother – Mr. John Wolfson. The lawyer for the potential honor murderers is quoted as saying:

"But lawyer John Wolfson, who is defending the father and son, insists the actress is already regretting her statement, and has tried to retract it through the Crown Prosecution Service three times.

He tells the Daily Express, "This is a desperately sad situation and she has never wanted her father and brother to be locked up. She has tried on three occasions to retract her statement and has pleaded with the Crown Prosecution Service not to proceed.

"I sincerely hope for the family's sake that this can be quickly and happily resolved. My client and his father have already denied the charges and will maintain that plea."

According to my reader, "This is the oldest (and dirtiest) trick in the legal world–a lawyer trying to save his client by destroying the veracity of the accuser. The lawyer for the father and brother is desperate; his clients are facing huge jail sentences for attempted murder. The lawyer's only hope is to make the accuser retract her statement–'oops! It was all a misunderstanding.' Please don't feel bad that you've been duped. I would have had the exact same reaction as you—had it not been for the fact that I've been a legal secretary for decades.

"Sadly, Ms. Chesler, you ARE accurate in pointing out that victims of abuse often plead for mercy for their abusers. You are also sadly accurate in revealing that those abusers inevitably reward their victim's mercy with murder. Last but not least, you are sadly accurate in saying that Ms. Azad can never go home. So long as her family clings to the 'religion of peace', they will do their best to kill her – and they will do so with no remorse or shame.

"Ms. Chesler, your advice to Ms. Azad is spot on. Bless you for that. She should contact Diana Nammi for help. You are also sadly, totally accurate in telling Ms. Azad that she can never go home again."

I am sorry to have misled my readers and exceptionally sorry if my piece has caused Afshan herself the slightest sorrow.


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