Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
Civil society protested against Lahore ‘honour’ killing case, Islamabad


Civil society protested against Lahore ‘honour’ killing case

Aurat Foundation and  civil society organizations organized a protest demonstration in Islamabad on May 29, 2014, and strongly condemned the ‘honour’ killing of Farzana by her father, brother and cousin.  At this, Aurat Foundation issues a press statement, given below:                                                      

Aurat Foundation is deeply shocked at the brutal murder of a 25-year-old pregnant woman by her family in front of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday May 27, 2014, for marrying the man of her choice. We demand immediate arrest of perpetrators and exemplary punishment for those involved in the heinous crime.

The woman was killed by around two dozen relatives, including her father and brothers, who attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks. Neither onlookers nor policemen deputed around the court tried to intervene. Attackers were able to escape uninterrupted.

The victim hadgone to the court to record her statement in a case lodged by after she had married of her own choice. The incident was a clear example of planned attack as several months had passed after the marriage. The family had obviously come prepared to commit murder.

Farzana’s father, presently in the custody of police,justified the cold-blooded murder as ‘honour killing’ and said that he did not regret what happened. The incident highlights the impunity with which killings in the name of honour are occurring throughout the country.

We believe that major lacunas in the ‘Honour’ Killings Act 2004 have rendered the law useless as it fails to provide protection to victims and punishment for the perpetrators and supporters of this heinous crime. The Act renders the offence of ‘honour’ killing as compoundable, thus allowing waiver of Qisas and pardoning of the crime as well as the settlement of the case through payment of compensation.This is one of the biggest loopholes in the law.

The alarming trend of giving social sanction to this kind of offence is one of the main reasons affecting the implementation of the law. Majority of the cases of ‘honour’ killings are not reported in the police stations and among those registered, 77 per cent of the perpetrators are acquitted by the courts. Such inhuman actions have been encouraged by the government’s failure to protect its citizens.

We demand the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action and ensure that culprits are arrested and convicted.We also demand that the courts do not allow the heirs of the victims to compound the offence and go unpunished.