On Tuesday, a pregnant woman was stoned to death by her family in front of a Pakistani high court for marrying a man she loved, according to the Associated Press. The members of her family who attacked the woman and her husband included her brothers and her father.
She was attacked with bricks and batons in the middle of the day in front of a group of witnesses at the high court of Lahore, according to Rana Mujahid, a police investigator.
The woman’s father was arrested for murder and the police said they are trying to apprehend everyone who took part in the ‘heinous crime.’
Naseem Butt, another officer, identified the woman as 25-year-old Farzana Parveen. Parveen married Mohammad Iqbal against the wishes of her family after many years of engagement. Mohammed Azeem, the woman’s father, filed an abduction case against Iqbal. The couple had contested the filing, according to the woman’s lawyer, Mustafa Kharal. The lawyer said that the woman was three month’s pregnant.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that in 2013 there were 869 women murdered in honor killings.
“I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed in front of a court,” said Zia Awan, a lawyer and human rights activist. “Either the family does not pursue such cases or police don’t properly investigate. As a result, the courts either award light sentences to the attackers, or they are acquitted.”
Her lawyer said that the family of Parveen waited outside the court for the couple. They began throwing rocks at her upon the couple’s arrival and tried to take her from Iqbal. She was beaten by her father, brothers and other family members after resisting to leave her husband’s side.
“We were in love,” Iqbal told The Associated Press. “I simply took her to court and registered a marriage.”
The father was quoted by the police saying: “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.”