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Pakistani woman stoned to death

A woman has been stoned to death by her family in front of a Pakistan high court for marrying the man she loved, police and lawyers said.

Nearly 20 members of the woman's family attacked her and her husband with sticks and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, police said.

Farzana Parveen, 25, had married Mohammad Iqbal, to whom she had been engaged for years in opposition to her family, police official Naseem Butt said.

Her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said her father had filed an abduction case against her husband which the couple had been contesting.

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.

Mr Kharal said Ms Parveen's relatives waited outside the court, which is on a main city centre thoroughfare, and as the couple walked up to the court's main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Mr Iqbal.

When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, the lawyer said.

Mr Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Ms Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.

"We were in love," he told the Associated Press. He alleged that the woman's family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.

"I simply took her to court and registered a marriage," infuriating the family, he said.

Mr Butt said Ms Parveen's father surrendered after the incident and called the incident an "honour killing".

Hundreds of women are killed every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called honour killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behaviour.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private organisation, said in a report last month that 869 women were murdered in honour killings last year.


From Belfast Telegraph