A pregnant woman was stoned to death by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved.
Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, police investigator Rana Mujahid said.
Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Pakistan in so-called “honour killings” as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior, but public stoning is extremely rare.
Mujahid said the woman’s father has been arrested for murder and that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in the “heinous crime”.
Another police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal against her family’s wishes.
Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said. He confirmed that she was three months’ pregnant.
Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children. “We were in love,” he told AP. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.
Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honour killing”. “I killed my daughter as she had insulted our family by marrying a man without our consent,. I have no regret over it,” Mujahid quoted the father as saying.