A pregnant woman was stoned to death by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved.
Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, the police investigator Rana Mujahid said.
Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called ” honour killings” – carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behaviour – but public stoning is extremely rare.
Mujahid said the woman’s father has been arrested for murder and that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in the “heinous crime”.
Another police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.
Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said. He confirmed that she was three months pregnant.
Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in “honour killings” in 2013.
But even Pakistanis who have tracked violence against women expressed shock at the brutal and public nature of Tuesday’s killing.
“I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed in front of a court,” said Zia Awan, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist.
He said Pakistanis who commit violence against women are often acquitted or handed light sentences because of poor police work and faulty prosecutions.
“Either the family does not pursue such cases or police don’t properly investigate. As a result, the courts either award light sentences to the attackers, or they are acquitted,” he said.
Parveen’s relatives had waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.
When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said.
Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.
“We were in love,” he told the Associated Press. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to swindle money from him before marrying her off.
“I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” infuriating the family, he said.
Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honour killing”, Butt said.
“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.
Mujahid said the woman’s body had been handed over to her husband for burial.
Saturday, 28 June 2014
A young couple in Pakistan were tied up and had their throats slit with scythes after they married for love, police said Saturday.
The 17-year-old girl and 31-year-old man married on June 18 without the consent of their families in eastern Pakistan’s Punjabi village of Satrah, police said.
The girl’s mother and father lured the couple home late on Thursday with the promise that their marriage would receive a family blessing, said local police official Rana Zashid.
“When the couple reached there, they tied them with ropes,” he said. “He (the girl’s father) cut their throats.”
Police arrested the family, who said they had been embarrassed by the marriage of their daughter, named Muafia Hussein, to a man from a less important tribe.
Cultural traditions in many areas of Pakistan mean that killing a woman whose behavior is seen as immodest is widely accepted.
Immodest behavior that sparked recent killings included singing, looking out of the window or talking to a man who is not a relative. For a woman to marry a man of her own choice is considered an unacceptable insult by many families.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 so-called “honor killings” were reported in the media last year – several a day. But the true figure is probably much higher since many cases are never reported.
Please read the full article via Al Arabiya English
More similar incidents reported by Associated Press