Rights Watch | 29th April 2020

Rights Watch

Women Killed 

Incidents of honor killing crop up across the country – in one incident, a young woman was shot dead for “honor” in Kaylah village, Islamabad, allegedly by her father and uncle. The victim had contracted a love marriage against her family’s wishes on March 1. The girl’s family had registered a complaint against her “abduction”, after which the couple was summoned to court where they stated that they had married of their free will.

However, the victim’s husband had allegedly filed for divorce after an agreement was reached between the couple’s families, and the girl was returned to her home. The victim attempted to escape after being informed about the divorce, but was shot multiple times and killed by her pursuers.

The victim’s body has been shifted to a hospital for a medico-legal examination – initial reports state the victim suffered seven bullet wounds. A case has been registered against the girl’s father and uncle.

Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi, a newlywed couple was beaten and murdered for “honor” by the bride’s family for marrying against their wishes. According to the mother of the deceased man, the bride’s father, five brothers, and several other unknown persons broke into their home after midnight and abducted the couple. They were dragged to the woman’s home down the street where they were tortured and then shot to death.

The suspects managed to escape the scene of the crime before the arrival of the police. According to the initial police report, the man suffered six bullet wounds and torture marks, while the woman sustained 3 bullet wounds as well as torture marks.

In Lahore, a man was arrested for bludgeoning his newlywed wife to death with a frying pan in the name of honor. The exact motive behind the murder is yet unknown.

In Jacobabad, Sindh, a woman who was being prevented from visiting her parents by her husband and in-laws was found dead under mysterious circumstances

Women prevented from visiting her parents after marriage was found mysteriously dead in Jacobabad, Sindh. The woman’s brother claims that his sister had been married off a year ago, however, her family was barred from meeting her even on the birth of her child. The girl was discovered unconscious by her family after being informed of her deteriorating health by her in-laws. Doctors pronounced her dead on arrival and saw no torture marks on her body. The girl’s brother has demanded an investigation into the circumstances of her demise, alleging mental torture inflicted upon her by her husband and in-laws.

Crimes Against Journalists

The family of the slain Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, moves to challenge the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) acquittal of Pearl’s murderers in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On April 2, the SHC reduced the death penalty awarded to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh for Pearl’s abduction and murder in 2002 to seven years imprisonment and acquitted three others who were serving life sentences.

Meanwhile, the Peshawar High Court has requested the federal government to make the judicial commission report on the murder of North Waziristan journalist Hayatullah Khan in 2006 public. Khan had reported on and published pictures of American drone strikes in North Waziristan in 2005, after which he began receiving death threats. He was abducted in December 2005 and his body was later discovered in June 2006.