TORONTO – The brother of a Canadian teenager who was slain in what friends described as a family dispute over a Muslim head scarf was charged with murder, becoming the second family member accused in her death, police said Friday.
Aqsa Parvez, 16, of Pakistani origin, was strangled in December at her Mississauga, Ontario, home.
Waqas Parvez, 27, who had faced obstruction allegations in his sister's death, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder.
Their father Muhammad Parvez, 57, was charged with first-degree murder earlier this month. He had been a suspect since shortly after her death.
Police would not disclose details of any new evidence that prompted the Friday's charges or what impact they would have on the case against the father. But spokeswoman Samantha Nulle said investigators were checking if other people had been involved in the death.
Police have refused to confirm the killing was over the scarf, and Muhammed Parvez's lawyer, Joseph Ciraco, has said that more than just cultural issues played a role. He did not return calls for comment Friday.
But friends said her death came during a family feud over her refusal to wear the traditional Muslim veil. And the killing sparked debate in Canada about the conflict within immigrant families over traditional values and desires to fit into a new culture.
Parvez's friends from her high school said the ever-cheerful girl faced an increasingly difficult home life. They said that Parvez would come to school wearing track pants and the scarf, but would change into close-fitting jeans and remove the scarf at school. They said her parents caught on and began following her to school to make sure she was abiding by their rules.
Classmate Joel Brown, 17, has said that the girl grew afraid of her parents and began showing up to school with bruises.
Sameer Zuberi, the Canadian spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that following her death, imams at mosques across the country reflected on the issues presented in the media surrounding her death.
"It forced the Islamic community to look at itself in terms of what children face and what parents here in Canada face," he said.