25-Year-Old Stoned To Death By Her Family Because She Married The Man She Loved

Marrying the man she loved cost a 25-year-old woman her life. She was stoned to death by her father, brothers and other family members outside one of Pakistan's top courts.

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On Tuesday afternoon, a 25-year-old woman was stoned to death by her family outside one of Pakistan's top court — all for marrying the man she fell in love with

The woman, Farzana Iqbal, was waiting for the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore to open when a group of around dozen men began attacking her with bricks, said Umer Cheema, a senior police officer, and killed her in a so-called "honour" killing for marrying the man she loved.

The photo below shows Pakistani police officers trying to gather evidence on the killing, as Parveen's body lies on the ground, with people surrounding the scene

Farzana Parveen was was stoned to death by her family outside a court in Pakistan.

Image via Mohammad Tahir/Reuters

The Associated Press said family members attacked the couple before a crowd of onlookers in front of the court.

According to the police, everyone who was involved in the killing escaped except the girl's father, who admitted killing his daughter and said he did it for "honour"

"I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it," the father told police.

Pakistani families who have been involved in such killings say a woman marrying a man without their permission is seen as a breach of honor of the family. To many, that translates as the reason to seek revenge, by killing their own children.

Her husband Mohammad Iqbal said Farzana was preparing to testify in his defense, who her father had accused of kidnapping the young woman

Mohammad Iqbal, right, husband of Farzana, sits in an ambulance next to the body of his pregnant wife who was stoned to death by her own family, in Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday.

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Farzana Bibi's parents accused her husband, Muhammad Iqbal, of kidnapping her, and had filed a case against him at the High Court. However, she testified to police that she had married him of her own accord. Police said the couple had been engaged for a number of years.

45-year-old Mohammad Iqbal told Associated Press he started dating Farzana Parveen after the death of his first wife. He alleges the woman's family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.

As she arrived at the court building for a hearing, police said about a dozen family members pulled her aside and began to attack her and her husband, who managed to escape.

PHOTO: One of Parveen's in-laws wails over her body

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The Pakistani government itself does not collect any data and it is illegal to carry out such killings, but hundreds of women are killed in honour killings every year in Pakistan

In the latest annual report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women were killed in the name of honor in 2013. Campaigners say few cases come to court, and those that do can take years to be heard. No one tracks how many cases are successfully prosecuted.

On 7 January 2014, in a village in northwestern Pakistan, a young woman named Rukhsana survived an honour killing and has been publicly speaking about it since

Rukhsana was so badly hurt in the attack that she needs a walking frame to move around

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Earlier this year, the BBC traveled to a village in northwestern Pakistan to tell the story of a young woman who survived an honor killing and has been publicly speaking about it since. As the story notes, such killings are difficult to prove or to prosecute because of two reasons: first, the lack of witnesses to the crime, and second, lack of motivation for the police to pursue the suspects, regardless of the evidence.

But what happened in Lahore on Tuesday seems different. It wasn't in a remote village in Pakistan, neither was it in the middle of the night. Parveen was killed in broad daylight, in the presence of several bystanders, in front of the top court in the second largest city in Pakistan.

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