A 25-year-old pregnant Pakistani woman was stoned to death by her father and other relatives for marrying a man without their consent.
Farzana Parveen and her husband Mohammad Iqbal, 45, were attacked at the court house in downtown Lahore on Tuesday. Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, said her lawyer, Mustafa Kharal. He said she was three months pregnant.
The couple was attacked by her father, brothers and about 20 male relatives as they exited the high court of Lahore. Azeem yanked Parveen by her arm to talk to her, but she resisted.
The relatives began beating Parveen to death as bystanders looked on. The attackers hit her with sticks, rocks and bricks from a nearby construction site.
Iqbal, who wasn’t the source of their rage, escaped serious injury. He said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his wife, with whom he had five children.
Arranged marriages are customary among conservative Pakistanis who don’t believe in marrying for love. The bride’s parents expect a dowry (usually cash or property) to be paid by the groom for their daughter’s hand in marriage.
“We were in love,” Iqbal told The Associated Press. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.
“I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” infuriating the family, he said.
Police investigator Rana Mujahid said police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”
Parveen’s father surrendered to police but the others fled after the attack. Azeem called his daughter’s death an “honor killing.”
“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” the father told Mujahid.
“Pakistani law allows a victim’s family to forgive their killer,” said Wasim Wagha of the Aurat Foundation. “But in honor killings, most of the time the women’s killers are her family. The law allows them to nominate someone to do the murder, then forgive him.”