A 25-year-old pregnant woman was stoned to death by her father and other relatives outside Lahore High Court in Pakistan on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved against her family’s consent, media reports said, citing local police.
Farzana Iqbal was attacked while waiting for the High Court to open to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. The woman’s family, including her father, two brothers and her former fiancé attacked her and her husband with bricks in broad daylight, before a group of a dozen men joined in, Umer Cheema, a senior police officer reportedly said.
Mohammad Azeem, the father of the woman who was three months pregnant, was taken into custody while the other attackers escaped. Azeem reportedly admitted to killing his daughter and said that it was a matter of honor.
“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,” Azeem reportedly said, according to Rana Mujahid, a police investigator.
More than hundreds of women are reportedly killed every year in Pakistan in so-called “honor-killings,” which are mostly carried out by a woman's family and relatives as punishment for marrying someone without their consent.
Mohammad Iqbal, the 45-year-old husband of the woman, reportedly said that the family wanted money from him before marrying her off. “I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” which infuriated the family, he reportedly said.
“The most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed outside a courthouse,” Zia Awan, a lawyer and human rights activist, told Time. “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.”