Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death by her family members

By Sophia Saifi and Jethro Mullen, CNN
Wed May 28, 2014

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A pregnant woman is beaten to death by her relatives outside a court building. Her crime? To elope with the man she loved rather than marry the groom chosen by her family.

The terrible fate of Farzana Parveen, 25, is one shared by all too many women in Pakistan and elsewhere.

She was killed in the name of “honor,” on the grounds her actions had brought shame on her family.

“I do not even wish to use the phrase ‘honour killing’: there is not the faintest vestige of honour in killing a woman in this way,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement condemning the killing.

Pillay called on Pakistan’s government to work harder to stop such killings and protect women from violence.

According to a report published in April by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women in the country were the victims of honor killings last year. And activists say the true number may be much higher.

Parveen’s brutal killing is all the more shocking because it was so public.

She was beaten to death with bricks close to the high court in the eastern city of Lahore by a group of about 20 people, including her brothers, father and cousin, police said.

One family member made a noose of rough cloth around her neck while her brothers smashed bricks into her skull, said Mushtaq Ahmed, a police official, citing the preliminary report into the killing. She was three months pregnant, he said.

So-called honor killings often originate from tribal traditions in Pakistan, but are not a part of Islam. Although they’re common in rural areas, Tuesday’s attack in a public area of a big city was unusual.

Read further and watch a video

Categories: Asia, Pakistan

2 replies

  1. A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved.

    As a this is horrendous . But to all western observers how is this any different than the Salem Witch trials (not trying to excuse it, just making a point). Second how is this any different really then Traven Martin. Or how about the numerous school shootings that we have in the US. Quick question to those that favour the far right-wing approach to governing in this country: Are we not too far different when we elect (or at least run candidates) that want jail and/or more extreme penalties for American women who want to make their own choices (possibly abortion) when it comes to their health? Or their doctors? Or the push to close health and reproductive clinics and hospitals (including Planned Parenthood)? Where is the outrage over Clive Bundy’s “fans” when putting women in the front lines of their armed standoff? It is safe to condemn barbarity in a foreign country, but when misogyny becomes lethal in our own country many people would rather pretend it wasn’t happening. What caused this crime and what caused last weekend’s UCSB shooting are the same: hatred of women rooted in culture. The only difference is the degree of acceptance of that culture. I’ve just skim read a number of posts attacking religion and citing it as the cause of this woman’s death. Sadly this is utterly wrong. The culture of honour(sic) killings in fact predates even the introduction of Islam to Pakistan.. Honour(sic) killings are a cultural matter, not, a religious one.. Whatever the cause there ought never to be a cause to kill another person because of their legally binding marriage..

    Let’s face it. Women, especially in some parts of America, are still often seen as 2nd class citizens and treated as property. Is this based on some religious views and history? I am deeply saddened by this. It is disgusting. But to those of you claiming the moral high ground: In Pakistan a family kills a young woman because she married the wrong guy. Just days earlier in America a college student kills two young women because he had been rejected. Are we really that different? About a thousand women in Pakistan are killed in honour killings every year. About a thousand women in the US are killed by their husbands and boyfriends every year. We are plenty brutal to women here in the United States, too. Within time the Republican Party will be doing the very same thing to woman in America. The bible has asked for the very same thing, and even commands that a father stone his child for adultery….. To put this in context, over 1,000 women were killed by family members in the U.S. last year. But those stories don’t fit the narrative that the people we are bombing are savages that can only be tamed by violence, so we hear about every crazy story like it’s the daily deal. Imagine if the world judged America based on news stories out of Florida.

    The christian bible’s stance on this: Deuteronomy
    “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 “And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 “So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days. 20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel..

    This is grotesquely horrible and tremendously sad.
    But sadder still are the sweeping generalizations made below in the comments!!!
    This has nothing to do with religion and an awful lot to do with mentality which is deep-seated amongst the most backward and poorer parts of Pakistan. The best way to get round this to dedicate resources to the education of women in order to allow these backward areas to progress and to give women in such suppressed parts a much fairer bargaining position. A 1000 women protesting together is much stronger than one isolated woman!!! But how will they protest when they are not educated and enlightened enough to challenge the status quo as it is! Even more so,to the many victims of Islamophobia out there-Islam was the first religion to ensure that the women’s consent is all important for marriage. Even more so,it was the first religion to condone honour killing which was highly prevalent in Ancient Arabia. Even more,it was the first religion to make it a duty to educate daughters. Even more so,remember Rumi’s poetry works on love and affection. Rumi who was always a highly devout Muslim. So please stop drawing fraudulent and ill-informed parallels that defame a much larger religion(Islam) and country(Pakistan) and instead deal with things ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS!!!!!! Why West must stick its noses into the religious culture of people from other countries, people change and evolve on their own time line without West forcing them to conform. Not long ago in the US women were not allowed to vote and slavery was legal and currently adultery is a crime in 21 states. We evolved so will they. If Sharia is their law so be it.

    I worked in Saudi Arabia for a few years and some of their laws made no sense to me but made perfect sense to them. We stressed to all of our team members that their government, laws, social interactions and family values are all based on their sect’s interpretation of the Holy Quran. I saw judgements that would be outrageous in the USA but worked for them. We can’t be the police for every culture out there. If we don’t like these cultures, we shouldn’t visit them.
    IA
    London School of Islamics Trust

  2. UN human rights commission should take notice. If government of Pakistan does not do anything, a case should be brought against the prime minister or president of Pakistan in the international court of justice because they are acting as accomplices.

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