Pregnant Woman Stoned To Death by Family In Pakistan
A 25-year-old woman was stoned to death by her father, two brothers and former fiance outside one of Pakistan's top courts in the city of Lahore on Tuesday in a so-called 'honour' killing.
Farzana Iqbal had married the man she loved and was five months pregnant at the time of her death.
"Her baby died in her womb," said Muhammad Aurangzeb, a son of her previous husband.
She suffered severe head injuries when they surrounded her and threw bricks at her. She was pronounced dead in hospital.
All the suspects except her father escaped.
Honour killings are common in Pakistan, where women are often denied their basic rights. But the brutality of this case caused outrage around the world.
Many Pakistani families believe it's dishonourable for a woman to fall in love and choose her own husband.
Iqbal had been engaged to her cousin but married another man, police said. Her family had registered a kidnapping case against him and she had come to court to argue that she had married of her own free will.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was deeply shocked by the case.
"I do not even wish to use the phrase ‘honour killing’. There is not the faintest vestige of honour in killing a woman in this way," Pillay said in a statement.
"The fact that she was killed on her way to court shows a serious failure by the State to provide security for someone who – given how common such killings are in Pakistan - was obviously at risk."
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women were murdered in 'honour killings' in the country last year. There could be many more unrecorded incidents.
"People who carry out ‘honour crimes’ are rarely prosecuted, and even when they are, they often receive absurdly light sentences, considering they have committed pre-meditated murder,” Pillay said.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has criticised Pakistan for giving legal concessions, light sentences or pardons for people guilty of honour killings.