Two Pakistani newlyweds were killed by relatives Thursday in the latest honor killing in the country. The young couple were tied up and had their throats slit with scythes after they married for love, according to police.
The 17-year-old girl and 31-year-old man married on June 18 without the consent of their families, according to NBC News. The girl’s mother and father lured the newlyweds to their home on Thursday with the promise that their marriage would receive a family blessing, according to local police official Rana Zashid.
He explained, “When the couple reached there, they tied them with ropes. [The girl’s father] cut their throats.”
The Pakistani newlyweds were identified as Sajjad Ahmed and Muawia Bibi. Despite the fact that there were no outside witnesses to the honor killing, family members turned themselves in to police and are now in jail in the Sialkot district of Punjab, notes CNN.
Honor killings in Pakistan often originate from tribal traditions and happen more often in rural areas. In the case of the newlyweds killed Thursday, the family claimed they were embarrassed by the marriage of their daughter to a man of a less important tribe. Cultural traditions in many areas of the country mean that killing a woman whose behavior is seen as immodest is accepted.
Immodest behavior can include singing, looking out the window, talking to a man who is not a relative, and marrying someone that the family doesn’t agree with.
Statistics from the United Nations show that about 5,000 women are murdered by family members in honor killings each year. However, women’s advocacy groups claim the crime is underreported and the actual death toll is much higher. Pakistan’s human rights commission reports that 869 women were victims of honor killings in 2013.
The Pakistan newlyweds’ killing is one of a few reported honor killings in June. Earlier this month, 18-year-old Saba Masqood was found left for dead inside a sack in a canal. She was injured by gunfire by was lucky to survive. Masqood accused her brother and father of shooting her because they didn’t approve of her marriage to a neighbor.
The death of a pregnant Pakistani woman also made headlines around the world last month. The woman, Farzana Parveen, was attacked with bricks by immediate family members and others. Her husband, Mohammad Iqbal, told CNN afterward that he killed his first wife six years ago so he could marry Parveen.
It isn’t clear what charges will be brought against the family of the Pakistani newlyweds killed last week.