Pakistani Woman Stoned to Death by Family, Malaysian Teen Said to Be Raped by 38 Men & Other Horrors

    "Honor killings" have been happening in South Asia and other regions for centuries. Recent estimates by advocacy groups suggest that nearly 20,000 women are killed every year by this practice. (AP/K.M.Chaudary)

Farzana Parveen, a pregnant 25-year-old woman from the Punjab province of Pakistan, was brutally killed by her own family for attempting to marry the man of her choice. Parveen’s kin waited for her outside a courthouse as she and husband Muhammad Iqbal appeared for a hearing. Nearly 20 family members then proceeded to attack her with bricks while policemen looked on without moving a finger.

It turns out her husband was no piece of pie either, however. He has admitted to murdering his first wife and mother of his five children in 2009 in order to marry Parveen, but escaped scot-free because he was forgiven by his children.

Several people have been arrested in the “honor killing” case that’s been widely condemned by Pakistanis, including high-ranking officials. Human Rights Watch defines honor crimes as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family.”

Foreign Policy magazine:

Police in Punjab province on Friday arrested four more suspects in connection with the death of Farzana Parveen, a pregnant 25-year-old Pakistani woman, outside Lahore’s high court on Tuesday; the detainees include her uncle and two of her cousins.

The arrests came shortly after Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother, told provincial police on Thursday that they had 24 hours to arrest those involved in the attack.

Sharif also directed that the case be tried in an anti-terrorism court, and that the maximum punishment be sought for those accused of the crime (Dawn). Sharif even formed a high-level committee, which is tasked with analyzing the progress in the case on a daily basis and reporting to him.

Parveen had been engaged to her cousin, but married another man against her family’s wishes. Her father had filed an abduction case against her husband, which the couple was contesting.

This case is one of several heinous hate crimes toward women to be reported in South Asia recently. A 15-year-old was allegedly raped by 38 men in Malaysia this May and in northern India two young girls were gang raped and hanged from a mango tree.

These horrors, along with the Isla Vista shootings and the 200 girls abducted in Nigeria, are some of the more high-profile incidents we’re hearing about, but they are not rare. Although violence against women has been sparking public outrage and activist movements in South Asia, the U.S. and beyond, these despicable crimes remind us there is still a long way to go in securing women’s rights and safety all over the globe.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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