Two Pakistani men have been accused of cutting their 40-year-old sister’s eyes out “with a sharp knife” and chopping off her feet, marking the latest high-profile “honor” killing in the Muslim-majority country where such murders are on the rise and many go unreported.
The mother-of-five was savagely murdered in Muzaffargarh, Punjab, after she allegedly kidnapped the daughter of one of her attackers.
Authorities have also charged Muhammad Aslam in connection with the murder for allegedly luring the woman to a spot on the pretense of a court hearing.
“One of the suspects, identified as Muhammad Afzal, had suspected that his sister — Shareefan Bibi, 40 and mother of five — was involved in the abduction of his daughter [identified only as] Asia,” reports the Express Tribune in Pakistan.
“The girl was reportedly kidnapped a week ago from the same locality [in Punjab]. According to police, Afzal had also registered a case [regarding his daughter’s disappearance] against Shareefan,” adds the newspaper.
Pakistan’s independent Human Rights Commission has revealed that “honor” killings of women have increased by nearly 20 percent in the last few years, from 869 in 2013 to 1,096 last year, adding that most of the victims were shot but also attacked with acid
The recent brutal murder comes less than a month after Pakistani lawmakers, in an effort to stem the growing number of such killings, passed a law that strengthened the penalty for convicted “honor” killers and closed a loophole that allowed many of them to go free.
Prior to the new law, Pakistan had been unable to bring charges against “honor” murderers once a family member of the victim officially forgave the killing.
The two brothers, who fled the scene after killing their sister, have been identified as Muhammad Afzal and Mohammad Munir.
“She was reportedly taken to a rural health center on Tuesday, and in turn, a hospital in the city of Multan, where she was placed in a critical condition,” notes the Independent.
Police are reportedly searching for the killers.
In 2015, 88 men lost their lives to honor killings in Pakistan, reveals the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Citing activists, the International Business Times reports that the total number of women and men who have been murdered in honor killings “could be much higher as many cases go unreported.”