A 25-year-old Pakistani woman who was engaged to her cousin but had married another man was stoned to death by her family on Tuesday.
The woman, Farzana Iqbal, was waiting outside the High Court in Lahore when she was attacked by a group of men that included her father, her two brothers, and her former fiancé. According to Reuters, Iqbal’s father was the only suspect that did not escape the scene, and he claimed that the murder of his daughter was a matter of honor.
Iqbal had reportedly been waiting outside the court to explain that she had married her husband based on her own free will, despite her family filing a kidnapping suit against him.
This practice, in which families punish a (usually female) member for bringing dishonor to the family or the community, has historical precedence in Pakistan. The government banned the practice in 2004, making participation in honor killings punishable by a prison term of seven years.
Still, honor killings have continued. The exact statistic is difficult to pin down, but the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network (HBVNA) estimates 5,000 honor killings each year. 1,000 of these killings are reported to take place in Pakistan.
Despite increased efforts by both the Pakistani government and international organizations to stop honor killings, the practice has continued with various loopholes allowing family members to get away with the crimes.