A pregnant woman was stoned to death today (May 27, 2014) by her own family in front of a crowd of onlookers outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved, the Huffington Post website reports.
The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding the police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this "heinous crime."
Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called "honor killings" carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.
A police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal, 45, against her family's wishes after being engaged to him for years. Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, said her lawyer, Mustafa Kharal. He added that she was three months pregnant.