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Woman’s murder outside Court

By  Zohra Yusuf

June 2 2014

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious alarm and disgust over the murder of a young woman, who was killed by her family in a manner like stoning to death, close to the Lahore High Court for marrying without their consent.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is appalled by the manner of Farzana Parveen’s death just a few yards from the Lahore High Court on Tuesday. Her only crime was to marry of her own free will, a right that the law recognises for all adult citizens but one where the state has failed to prevent abuse and violence.

Parveen was killed by around two dozen relatives, including her father and brothers, who attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks. Neither the crowd of onlookers nor policemen present near the place and in the high court intervened.

The woman had come to the court to record her statement in a case lodged after she had married without her family’s approval. The family had reportedly threatened Parveen and her husband on the last hearing on May 12.

Parveen’s murder was no case of sudden provocation as several months had passed after her marriage. The family had obviously come prepared to commit murder. Parveen’s father had no remorse when he surrendered to the police and called the cold-blooded murder an “honour killing”. He stated that he did not regret his actions.

Such brazen actions have been encouraged by the authorities’ failure to fulfil their duty to protect citizens’ lives. The sheer number of women falling victim to the so-called “honour killings” is enough to dispel all illusions about any interest in saving their lives. In 2013 alone, HRCP recorded the killing of nearly 900 women in “honour” crimes from media reports. These women were killed because the state did not confront this feudal practice supported by religiosity and bigotry.

HRCP calls upon the government to unreservedly condemn this shameful crime and make sure that Parveen’s killers do not escape justice by glorifying their dastardly act in the name of honour. The government should also consider starting a public awareness campaign to combat the feudal mentality behind the crime and ensure that the killers get no premium for invoking misplaced notions of honour.

Originally published by HRCP

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