Lahore 'honour killing': Farzana Parveen's family claim husband was behind murder

Sister claims it was her husband, not the family, who stoned her to death

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The Independent Online

The sister of the pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death outside the High Court in Lahore has accused the victim's husband of killing her.

Police and witnesses said Farzana Parveen, 25, was bludgeoned with bricks by an angry crowd including family members and her own father on Tuesday because she married a man for love.

Her family had arranged for her to marry her cousin and filed an abduction case against her husband, which she was believed to be on her way to contest when she died.

Farzana’s father reportedly surrendered after the incident and called the murder an honour killing, saying she had insulted his family by marrying without their consent and he had “no regret”.

But on Saturday, Farzana's elder sister claimed it was her 45-year-old husband Mohammad Iqbal who had killed her.

“Mohammed Iqbal and his accomplices killed Farzana, and her father and the rest of her family were wrongly accused of murder,” Khalida Bibi told reporters in Lahore.

“I was present at the scene and when she came out of the lawyer's chamber and as soon as she saw us standing on the other side of the road, she rushed towards us. Iqbal and his accomplices chased her and hit her with bricks.”

Mohammad Iqbal sits next to his wife Farzana's body in an ambulance in Lahore

Mr Iqbal said they married for love in January and later admitted strangling his first wife in 2009 so he could be with Farzana.

Khalida Bibi said she had spent 13 days with her sister in a women's shelter last month where she claimed she was hiding from her husband.

“She told me that Iqbal had kidnapped her and forced her into marriage,” she said. “She feared that Iqbal might kill her like his previous wife, Ayesha.”

Police have arrested five people including Farzana's father.

The brutality of the murder outside a court of law where she should have been safe has drawn international condemnation, including from the United Nations.

In 2013, 869 “honour killings” were reported in the media, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the true figure is probably higher since many cases go unreported.

Additional reporting by Reuters