A pregnant Pakistani woman has been stoned to death by her own family in front of a high court after she married against their wishes.
The Daily Mail reports that around 20 members of the woman’s family, including her own father and brothers, attacked her with bricks in broad daylight, killing her in front of a crowd of onlookers. She was three months pregnant.
Police officer Naseem Butt said that the woman, Farzana Parveen, had married Mohammed Iqbal, the who she loved, against the wishes of her family. Her father filed an abduction case against her husband.
Iqbal said that as the couple arrived at the Lahore high court to contest the case, Naseem’s family, who were waiting outside, started firing shots in the air and tried to snatch her from him. When she resisted, her family started beating her before finding bricks in a nearby construction site and pelting her.
Parveen’s father voluntarily surrendered to police after the incident.
Arranged marriages are normal in Muslim-dominated Pakistan, with marriage for love viewed as unusual at best. Hundreds of women are killed in the country every year in ‘honour-killings’ carried out by husbands and other relatives against women who have ‘shamed’ their families.
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan issued a report last month saying that 869 women were killed in honour-killings last year in the country. The figure may be even higher, however, as relatively few cases are brought to court, and many of those that are can result in acquittal.
Pakistani law allows for the family of a victim to forgive the killer, but most honour-killings are committed by the victim’s family. This allows families to nominate a person to do the killing and then forgive them.