The brother of the Muslim actress Afshan Azad, who played Padma Patil in the “Harry Potter” films, was sentenced to six months in prison Thursday for beating his sister after he heard her talking to her Hindu boyfriend.
Ashraf Azad, 28, called his sister a “prostitute” and screamed ''Marry a Muslim or you die!''
during a three-hour beating, during which, the actress said in a Manchester, England court, she feared for her life.
Afshan Azad, 21, was punched, strangled, and dragged by her hair by her brother, but she still pleaded for the judge’s leniency during the sentencing hearing, and asked he not be jailed.
Judge Roger Thomas would not hear of it, noting ''The background to this offense lies in the concern that you, and perhaps other family members, had about Afshan's relationship with a young man who was not of the Islamic faith.''
The judge also pointed out the “persistent attack was accompanied by serious and very hurtful abuse and threats. It must have been a miserable and frightening experience for your sister.”
''This is a sentence that is designed to punish you for what you did and also to send out a clear message to others that domestic violence involving circumstances such as have arisen here cannot be tolerated,” the judge said.
Afshan Azad’s family members recounted in court a harrowing night in which her father and mother also called her names, made threats and started making plans to give her away in an arranged marriage to a Muslim man in Bangladesh.
"I'm going to kill you. I'm actually going to kill you," the brother said, according to court testimony. He was then heard shouting "Where are the knives?"
Apparenty his own wife had already hidden them.
"She was told she had to marry a Muslim or you die," prosecutor Richard Vardon said.
Afshan Azad snuck out a window the next morning.
"She realized she would have to leave and felt she could not live any longer in that environment," Vardon said.