A Pakistani court has sentenced four people to death for the honor killing of a pregnant woman who married a man against her family's wishes. Farzana Parveen was beaten to death in May by her father, brother, cousin and former fiancé for disgracing her family by marrying a person of her choice.
Parveen was beaten to death with bricks and sticks outside a courthouse in the city of Lahore, after which her father surrendered to the police. Parveen’s family had earlier filed a case stating that her new husband, Iqbal, had kidnapped and married her, BBC reported. Parveen was on her way to the court to testify that she married Iqbal of her own will when she was attacked, reports said, adding that, while Parveen was being attacked, Iqbal sought help from a local police station, but she was dead before police arrived at the scene.
All four men were given a death sentence, and fined $1,000, while another cousin of Parveen was sentenced to 10 years in jail and a fine of $1,000. Defense lawyer Mansoor Afridi said that the verdict was "a decision based on sensationalism,” Reuters reported, adding that the family planned to appeal the case.
Iqbal later confessed that he had murdered his first wife to marry Parveen, according to Dawn, a local newspaper, which added that the court did not punish him because his son forgave him.
The country regularly witnesses “honor killings” and, in 2013 alone, Pakistan saw 869 cases of honor killings that were reported in the media, Reuters reported.