While Harry Potter and his sorcerer friends have escaped death many times on the silver screen, one of their co-actors faced it head on this year in Great Britain in the form of a threatened honor murder. But the real magicians in this tragic episode turned out to be the actress-victim's male relatives, and potential killers, who deplorably evaded prison time, receiving only light sentences from a British court.
The modern fame and glamour of being a Harry Potter series actress could not help Afshan Azad, 22, last spring at her Manchester family home when she ran up against the bigoted, medieval and controlling attitude of her Muslim father who threatened to kill her for meeting a young Hindu man. Azad, who played Padma Patil, a classmate of Potter's and a twin witch at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the immensely popular film series, managed to escape her family's death sentence by jumping out of her bedroom window and fleeing to safety.
A British court heard Monday that prior to the father's death threat, the young Muslim film star was being beaten by her brother, Ashraf, 28. Ashraf also threatened to kill his sister and called her a "prostitute" for the cultural transgression of seeing a non-Muslim, a friendship that "angered" her family.