Pakistani woman stoned to death outside High Court
Honor killing by pregnant woman's own family
A 25-year-old pregnant woman was stoned to death by her father and brothers outside a court in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Tuesday for marrying a man of her own choice, police and her lawyer said.
The incident took place in front of the Lahore High Court, the home town of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif.
Farzana Bibi, a resident of Jaranwala town of Faisalabad city, married Muhammad Iqbal a few months ago against the wishes of her family.
She was to testify before a judge in the High Court to defend her husband against charges of kidnapping and marrying her by force.
Ghulama Mustafa Kharal, the woman’s lawyer, said the couple were attacked as soon as they reached the court premises.
“Nearly two dozen people were already waiting for her arrival in the court,” he added.
Bibi’s family fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her. When they failed they started to hit the couples with bricks and sticks, said senior police officer Umar Cheema.
“We have arrested her father and raids are being conducted to arrest the others,” he told reporters in Lahore.
Local media quoted the victim's father saying that he had no regrets after killing his daughter and that she had brought shame on the family.
Police sent the body for an autopsy and registered a case of complaint against the victim's father and brothers.
Last year, around 900 women were killed in Pakistan by their families in so-called honor killings, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights group.
In a press statement, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, head of the main opposition Pakistan People's Party, condemned Bibi's brutal killing and called for governement and judicial action to save innocent women.
“Such a gory incident in front of the Lahore High Court in full view of the Punjab administration is an eye opener for the whole of society. Also, it is time for the nation’s institutions to rise up to save humanity and human values before delving into issues that cause lesser impact on common man,” he said.
Bhutto stressed that strong action should be taken against those involved including an exemplary punishment.
The incident also drew strong condemnations on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Pakistan’s former ambassador in Washington Sherry Rehman tweeted: “The butchers who killed #Farzana in broad daylight need to be given exemplary punishment. It’s NOT ok to let blood money principle apply!”
Bushra Gohar, a leading female politician and former MP, said: “Strongly condemn the barbaric stoning to death of #Farzana in Lahore. Demand repeal of laws that allow such barbaric acts to go unpunished.”
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