I acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal peoples, on whose lands we meet today, their elders, past, present and emerging.
Ruqia Hidari was aged 21 and living in Victoria, when, according to police, she was sold by her mother to her prospective husband Mohammad Ali Halimi for $15,000. Ms Hidari was in contact with police prior to the marriage. Nevertheless, despite police efforts, she went through with the marriage and participated in a private religious ceremony in Shepparton. She and her husband, an uber driver and abattoir worker, then moved to Western Australia where two months later, he murdered her.
Her husband has gone to jail for 19 years.
Ms Hidari’s mother, Sakina Muhammad Jan and two other family members have been charged with forced marriage offences. Those proceedings have not concluded. Ms Jan has pleaded not guilty to coercing her daughter into the forced marriage.