LAHORE: A young woman was beaten to death with bricks by her family near the Lahore High Court on Tuesday morning allegedly for marrying a man of her choice.

The brutal act took place on Fane Road, one of the busiest roads in the city, when Farzana, 25, of Nankana Sahib, her husband Mohammad Iqbal and in-laws, left the office of her counsel for going to the court.

The alleged killers, the woman’s father Azeem, brothers Zahid and Ghulam Ali and other family members, intercepted her and started beating her with bricks.

Her family had got an abduction case registered against her husband and she had filed a petition in the LHC to get the case quashed. She was to appear before the court on Tuesday to record her statement in favour of her husband.

Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Kharal was pleading the case.

Eyewitnesses said Farzana was crying and seeking help of passersby but no-one came forward to rescue her and even police personnel present there acted as silent spectators.

The woman suffered serious head injuries and died on the spot. Her husband and in-laws also suffered injuries.

All the assailants managed to escape.

Mozang police took Farzana’s body to the city morgue and got the injured medically examined.

Investigating Officer Rana Akhtar Mahmood told Dawn that a case had been registered against six suspects on the complaint of the woman’s husband.

He said a raiding team had been sent to Nankana Sahib to arrest the accused.

Farzana married Iqbal in January this year and she was three months pregnant.

Her family alleged that she was engaged to her cousin but Iqbal abducted her and married her forcibly.

Reuters adds: Around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year by their families in honour killings, according to Aurat Foundation.

The true figure is probably many times higher since the Aurat Foundation only compiles figures from newspaper reports. The government does not compile national statistics. 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.

Even those that do result in a conviction may end with the killers walking free.

Law allows a victim’s family to forgive their killer, but in honour killings, most of the time the women’s killers are her family, said Wasim Wagah of the Aurat Foundation. The law allows them to nominate someone to carry out the murder and then forgive him.

“This is a huge flaw in the law,” he said. “We are really struggling on this issue.”

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2014

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