LAHORE, Pakistan: A three-months pregnant Pakistani woman was beaten to death with bricks by members of her own family Tuesday for marrying the man of her choice, police said.
Farzana Iqbal, 25, was attacked outside the Lahore High Court by more than two dozen people including her brother and father, senior investigator Rana Akhtar told AFP.
She had been due in court to defend her new husband against allegations, made by her family, that he had kidnapped her and forced her to marry him.
Some 28 to 30 people attacked her, Akhtar told AFP.
“The brother first opened fire with a gun but missed. She tried to run away but fell down,” the investigator said.
“The relatives caught her and then beat her to death with bricks.”
Mohammad Mushtaq, another police official, confirmed the incident in the eastern city. Mushtaq said police had opened an initial investigation following a complaint by Farzana’s husband Iqbal, who also has another wife.
Farzana’s lawyer Rao Mohammad Kharal told AFP: “Farzana was here to tell the court that she married of her own choice.”
Many Pakistani women have no say in who they marry and disobeying the wishes of relatives is believed to bring shame on the whole family.
Last year 869 women died in so-called “honor killings” according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
“Such crimes persisted because of the impunity enjoyed by the killers,” the commission said in a report, noting that Pakistan’s blood-money laws allow kin to forgive perpetrators and that most killers were members of the victim’s family.