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article imageCouple in Pakistan hacked to death, girl burned alive

By Karen Graham     Jun 29, 2014 in Crime
Islamabad - In Pakistan, a 17-year old girl and her husband were killed by the girl's family because the couple married without their consent while another young lady was burned alive for refusing a man's marriage proposal.
Muafia Bibi, 17 years old, and her husband, 30-year-old Sajjad Ahmed, were married on June 18. Asghar Ali, the area police chief, said the couple was lured back home by Bibi's family on the context that they had accepted the marriage.
Once the couple returned to the Punjabi village of Satrah on Friday night, they were allegedly set-upon by her parents, two uncles and her grandfather, tied up and hacked to death by the girl's father with a butcher knife. All five were arrested, according to Ali.
Ali said this was Ahmed's third marriage, and Bibi's first. Ahmed's first marriage had ended in divorce, while his second wife left him after he married Bibi. The police say the family was embarrassed by their daughter's marriage to a man from a less important tribe.
Another murder took place elsewhere in Punjab, with a man burning a young woman alive after her family refused his marriage proposal. The would-be suitor, Fayaz Aslam, 26, doused 20-year-old Sidra Shaukat in gasoline, and then set her afire in a field said Akhtar Saeed, a district police official. Saeed was taken to a local hospital where she died overnight. Aslam was arrested.
Cultural traditions in many parts of Pakistan may seem strange to many people, but to conservative Muslims, the killing of a woman because she exhibited "immodest" behavior is a normal way of life. Marrying for love is considered taboo, and any sort of sexual indiscretions are said to bring shame upon the family.
According to the Human Right's Commission of Pakistan, 869 "honor killings" were reported to the media last year. The numbers come to several every day, but the figures are probably higher because many deaths are not reported.
Another interesting facet of Pakistani law is that someone accused of slaying a person can be "forgiven" by the victim's family, and the charges will be dropped, or the family can accept a gift of "blood money" in exchange for forgiveness, with the same results.
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