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Pakistani man who filmed sister's 'honor' killing arrested

Maria Bibi, 22, was killed overnight on March 17 allegedly by her brother Muhammad Faisal in the presence of her father
Hundreds of women are killed by men in Pakistan every year for allegedly breaching the society's strict code of conduct.

Hundreds of women are killed by men in Pakistan every year for allegedly breaching the society's strict code of conduct. (Representative photo: Canva)

Published: April 01, 2024 05:59 AM GMT
Updated: April 01, 2024 06:05 AM GMT

A Pakistani man who allegedly filmed his brother strangling their sister to death has been arrested as part of the latest "honor" killing that has outraged the country, police said on March 31.

Maria Bibi, 22, was killed overnight on March 17, allegedly by her brother Muhammad Faisal and in the presence of her father Abdul Sattar, near Toba Tek Singh town in the central-eastern province of Punjab.

A video filmed by the woman's other brother Shehbaz, and which has gone viral, appears to show Faisal strangling the girl on a bed in the family home while their father sat nearby.

At one point, the video appears to show Shehbaz saying "father, tell him to let go," but is rebuffed as his brother continues to strangle the motionless body for more than two minutes.

When Faisal is done, his father offers him water to drink.

"The police found out on March 24 that the girl had not died of natural causes. We registered a case, becoming the complainants ourselves," Ata Ullah, a police official in Toba Tek Singh told AFP by phone.

Sattar and Faisal were immediately arrested, while Shehbaz was arrested on March 30 evening to determine the extent of his involvement, the officer said.

The murder had all the hallmarks of an "honor" killing, he added. Shehbaz's wife, who also appears in the video, has also been arrested.

Much of Pakistani society operates under a strict code of "honor," with women beholden to their male relatives over choices around education, employment and who they can marry.

Hundreds of women are killed by men in Pakistan every year for allegedly breaching this code.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 316 "honour" crimes against women were recorded in the country in 2022.

But many cases go unreported, as families tend to protect the murderers - often male relatives.

The motive for the murder has not yet been established.

Police said that Faisal, the killer, allegedly caught his sister talking on a video call with an unknown man on several occasions.

The chief minister of Punjab province, Maryam Nawaz, has designated the matter as "high-profile," a term used for cases of public interest, although the legal system still allows for men to murder women with impunity.

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