Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 Police collect evidence near the body of Farzana Iqbal, who was killed by family members, at the site near the Lahore High Court building in Lahore May 27 Police questioned witnesses as Ms Parveen's bloodied body lay on the pavement

The husband of a Pakistani woman stoned to death in broad daylight outside a Lahore court says police stood by and did nothing to stop the attack.

Farzana Parveen, who was three months pregnant, was killed by her family on Tuesday for marrying a man she loved.

"We were shouting for help; nobody listened," her husband, Muhammad Iqbal, told the BBC.

Correspondents say there are hundreds of so-called "honour killings" of women in Pakistan each year.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said she was "deeply shocked" and urged Pakistan's government to take "urgent and strong measures".

"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."

Mr Iqbal described the police as "shameful" and "inhuman" for their failure to stop the attack.

"We were shouting for help, but nobody listened. One of my relatives took off his clothes to capture police attention but they didn't intervene.

Muhammad Iqbal said police did nothing to stop the stoning

"They watched Farzana being killed and did nothing."

Arranged marriages are the norm in Pakistan and to marry against the wishes of the family is unthinkable in many deeply conservative communities.

Ms Parveen's father later surrendered to police but other relatives who took part in the attack are still free.

Mr Iqbal said they were threatening him and his family.

"Yesterday they said they would snatch the dead body," he said. "We came here with a police escort".

"We arrested a few of them and others are currently being investigated," local police chief Mujahid Hussain said.

Dragged to floor

Ms Parveen's parents had accused Mr Iqbal of kidnapping her and had filed a case against him at the High Court.

She testified to police that she had married him of her own free will.

Mr Iqbal told the BBC that when the couple arrived at the court on Tuesday to contest the case, his wife's relatives were waiting and tried to take her away.

As she struggled to free herself they dragged her to the floor, pelted her with bricks and then smashed her head. She died on the pavement.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 869 women were murdered in "honour killings" in the country last year, although it is believed that the real figure could be higher.

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