Pregnant woman beaten to death in Pakistani 'honour killing'

Wednesday 28 May 2014 10.58
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 women died in 'honour killings' last year
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 women died in 'honour killings' last year

A Pakistani woman, who was three months' pregnant, was beaten to death with bricks by members of her own family yesterday for marrying the man of her choice.

Farzana Iqbal, 25, was attacked outside Lahore High Court by more than two dozen people, including her brother and father, senior investigator Rana Akhtar told media.

She had been due in court to defend her new husband against allegations, made by her family, that he had kidnapped her and forced her to marry him.

Up to 30 people attacked her, Mr Akhtar said.

"The brother first opened fire with a gun but missed. She tried to run away but fell down," the investigator said.

"The relatives caught her and then beat her to death with bricks."

Mohammad Mushtaq, another police official, confirmed the incident in the eastern city.

Mr Mushtaq said police had opened an initial investigation following a complaint by Farzana's husband Iqbal, who also has another wife.

Farzana's lawyer Rao Mohammad Kharal said: "Farzana was here to tell the court that she married of her own choice."

Many Pakistani women have no say in who they marry and disobeying the wishes of relatives is believed to bring shame on the whole family.

Last year, 869 women died in "honour killings" according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

"Such crimes persisted because of the impunity enjoyed by the killers," the commission said in a report.

It noted that Pakistan's blood-money laws allow kin to forgive perpetrators and that most killers were members of the victim's family.

Keywords: pakistan