She was allegedly murdered by 20 members of her own family as an 'honor killing" in broad daylight - in front of a Pakistani city's high court
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse in Pakistan, comes the news that a 25-year-old pregnant Pakistani woman has been allegedly stoned to death today (Tuesday, May 26, 2014) by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court - for marrying the man she loved.
Police collect evidence near the body of the dead woman, who was allegedly killed by family members, in front of a court building in Lahore Tuesday. Her father called her murder an
Britain's Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk) is reporting that the woman was attacked by 20 family members outside Lahore court for marrying a man called Mohammad Iqbal against her family's wishes.
The story alleges that when relatives tried to drag her away from her husband she resisted, and then her father and brothers started pelting her with batons and construction site bricks until she died in a pool of blood, as horrified people looked on.
Reporter Julian Robinson said, "Farzana Parveen, who was three months pregnant, was killed before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, police have reported."
He went on to say that Police official Naseem Butt said the 25-year-old had married Mohammad Iqbal, with whom she had been engaged for years against the will of her family.
"Her father had filed an abduction case against her husband, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said," his story continued.
"Arranged marriages are considered normal among conservative [Islamic] Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.
"Hundreds of women are killed every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called 'honor killings' carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.
"Kharal said Parveen's relatives waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare.
"As the couple walked up to the court's main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, he said.
"When she resisted, her father, brothers, and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said."
The anguished husband with the dead body of his wife who had just been stoned to death
An anguished Iqbal, 45, told reporters that he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.
"We were in love," he told the media. "I simply took her to court and registered a marriage," he said.
He alleged that the woman's family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.
Butt, the police official, said Parveen's father surrendered after the incident and called the murder 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," Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.
Mujahid said the woman's body was handed over to her husband for burial.
The Daily Mail added that The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private organization, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in so-called 'honor killings' in 2013.
But the Pakistani rights group, The Aurat Foundation , has said the figure could be closer to a thousand and some estimate the true number could be higher still.
"Campaigners say few cases come to court, and those that do can take years to be heard," said the story. "Even those that do result in a conviction may end with the killers walking free. Pakistani law allows a victim's family to forgive their killer.
"But in honor killings, most of the time the women's killers are her family, said Wasim Wagha of the Aurat Foundation. The law allows them to nominate someone to do the murder, then forgive him."
"This is a huge flaw in the law," he said. "We are really struggling on this issue."
Asia Bibi's appeal again canceled
Asia Bibi -- will she ever get justice?
The news of this brutal murder came around the same time that Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi's Tuesday appeal hearing on her death sentence for blasphemy was again cancelled-for the fifth time. No new hearing date has been set.
According to a story by Cath Martin for the online news site Christian Today, Bibi's four previous hearings were also cancelled at the last minute by the court.
Bibi, a mother of five, has been in prison since being sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010. The accusation followed a heated dispute with Muslim colleagues.
Blasphemy is a serious crime in Muslim-majority Pakistan and carries the death sentence, but human rights groups say the charges are often trumped up as a means of settling personal scores and vendettas.
Anyone accused of blasphemy in Pakistan faces threats to their life from extremists. Relatives often have to go into hiding to escape the same fate, and being behind bars doesn't make the accused any safer.
In vie w of today's killing, one wonders if anyone can actually get justice in Pakistan with such rampant violence from people just taking the law into their own hands and the authorities apparently not able to, or willing to, stop it.