A man and his father have been arrested in Pakistan for the latest so-called “honor killing” in that country after they set the man’s wife on fire for leaving their home without the husband’s permission.
According to AFP, the husband, Muhammad Siddique, was furious with his wife, Shabana Bibi, for leaving the house to visit her sister without asking permission to do so.
Bibi’s brother, Muhammad Azam, told the gruesome details of his sister’s life with Siddique to reporters. They had been married for three years and were unable to have children. Siddique was reportedly very angry over this aspect of their marriage and regularly beat Bibi.
Azam told reporters about how the latest Pakistan honor killing claimed his sister’s life. He said Bibi, 25, returned home after visiting her sister to be confronted and beaten by her husband and his father. She was then soaked in gasoline and set on fire by the two men in Central Pakistan’s Muzaffargarh district last Friday to carry out the honour killing.
Shabana Bibi suffered burns over 80 percent of her body, according to AFP. She died on Saturday in a hospital.
District police chief Rai Zameer-ul-Haq announced that the husband and his father have since been arrested.
“We have arrested the husband and father-in-law of the deceased woman and charged them for murder and terrorism.”
According to AFP, the police often use the charge of “terrorism” to make cases move a little more quickly through Pakistan’s justice system.
Pakistan honor killings are carried out hundreds of times against women every year by their families. According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, even though there are laws in Pakistan put in place to protect women against honor killings, too often law enforcement is unwilling or unable to act. This situation may leave women in Pakistan largely at risk for honor killings and other violent acts against women.
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said honor killings in Pakistan rose 15 percent in 2014 since the previous year. Many honor killings go unreported, so the percentage may actually be higher in reality.
However, incidents of reported rape and violent acid attacks in Pakistan went down in 2014, but human rights campaigners insist that women are greatly at risk because violence against women is widespread and perpetrators aren’t always arrested or prosecuted.
Honor killings in Pakistan have been illegal since 2004, but they have a strong customary hold among many people in the region. Although most honor killings take the lives of women, rarely they may take the lives of men, too.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images News]