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Pakistani Woman Stoned To Death By Family Outside Courtroom

A 25-year-old pregnant woman has been stoned to death by her relatives outside a courtroom in Lahore, Pakistan — a so-called honor killing meant to punish her for marrying against her family's will.

Farzana Iqbal was preparing to testify in defense of her husband, Mohammad Iqbal, whom her father had accused of kidnapping the young woman. The father had insisted instead that she marry her cousin.

Press Trust of India writes:

"Initially, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal.

"After failing in their attempt, nearly 20 members of her family, including her father and brothers, attacked the couple with sticks and bricks before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, said police official Naseem Butt.

"Farzana, who was three-months pregnant, died while her husband managed to escape."

And The Washington Post reports:

"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 honor. 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."

In the comments section of the story in the Pakistan daily Dawn, Lyra says: "Pakistan.. a land of Animals? Even animals don't kill their offspring."

"Pakistan has become a sick in the dark ages," another commenter says.

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.