Tag Archives: Honor killing

Pakistan: 933 killed for honor in two years

ISLAMABAD: Some 933 people were killed across the country in the name of honor during the past two years while 83 non-Muslims were also reported to be killed during the period. The majority of these cases were reported in Sindh.

These statistics were provided to the National Assembly on Friday by Federal Ministry of Law, in response to a query raised by an MNA, Saman Sultan Jaffri.

According to the report, Sindh proved to be the worst in terms of safety of minorities as 46 cases of non-Muslims’ killings were reported in the province, ruled by Pakistan Peoples Party.

As per the law ministry’s Human Rights Regional Offices – functioning at all four provincial headquarters – 17 non-Muslims were killed in Punjab, 9 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and 11 in Balochistan, during this period.

The report said a total of 456 and 477 cases of honor killing were reported in Pakistan in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Once again, the greatest number of such cases (602) was reported from Sindh.

As per the federal law ministry’s data for 2013, 66 cases of honour killing were reported in Punjab, 315 in Sindh, 47 in K-P and 28 in Balochistan. Similarly, 477 such cases were reported in 2014. Of these, 80 cases belonged to Punjab, 287 to Sindh, 78 to K-P and 32 to Balochistan.

As per Inspector General of Police Islamabad, six cases of non-Muslims’ killings were registered in the capital city during the last two years. Of these two cases were challaned, one remained untraced, whereas three cases are under investigation. However, no case of honour killing was registered in the capital during the last two years.

The assembly was told that these Human Rights regional offices are pursuing the cases with agencies concerned and are taking action against culprits to ensure justice to the aggrieved families.

However, the interior ministry and National Police Bureau informed the National Assembly that they did not have any requisite data regarding these crimes.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2015.

The story of a West Bank honor killing


The tragic tale of how one Palestinian woman became a victim.

Arrest [illustrative].

Arrest [illustrative]. Photo: Nir Elias/Reuters

Thamar Zeidan married when she was just 16, and had her first child at 17. While this is not uncommon in traditional Palestinian society, the marriage eventually foundered. Four years ago, she and her husband divorced and she moved back to her parents’ home in the small conservative village of Deir Al Ghusun near the West Bank town of Tulkarem.

The circumstances surrounding her marriage are murky, and her ex-husband refused to be interviewed. Her mother Laila (not her real name), told The Media Line that Thamar’s in-laws accused her of adultery. Her husband used to lock her in the house when he went out. To gain her freedom, Thamer’s had to give up custody of her three children when they divorced.

Honor killings are a very sensitive subject in Palestinian society, and Thamer’s family has never spoken to the media before. In an exclusive interview, her mother and sister told the story that ended when Thamar’s father murdered her three months ago. He is currently in a Palestinian jail awaiting trial.

Thamar had a male friend, Iyad Na’lweh, a laborer who worked in Israel. He was married, but his wife and children live in Jordan. He fell in love with Thamar and promised her that if she became his second wife (legal in Islamic law) he would help her get her children back.

She wanted to marry him, but her family objected, saying he had a drinking problem. It is not clear if they had a physical relationship, although the autopsy showed no recent sexual relations.

On the night of September 17th, Na’lweh was seen outside Zeidan’s house. Rumors, many of them false, began to spread.

“People said they had been together in her room for the past three days, but that’s impossible,” Laila said. “In fact I had been in the hospital and she spent the past three days in my room there.”

Seeing Na’lweh lurking outside her home, neighborhood men attacked him. He ran into the house, and Thamar’s father called the police. The attackers, who believed they were defending her honor, were arrested.

Thamar began to fear that her male relatives might harm her. She asked the police to help her, and left with them to spend the night in protective custody. The next morning, her father and uncle assured the police that she would be safe, and she could come home. The men who attacked Na’lweh were also released.

The following day, Suad and Zaher Mohammed, Thamer’s sister and brother-in-law, came to the village to bring Thamer to Ramallah for a few days until the storm died down. Hours later, some of Thamer’s conservative relatives began circulating a written petition demanding that Thamer’s father Munther “reinstate the cultural and religious morals in his family.”

They posted the petition in 5 local mosques during Friday prayer. More than 50 family members, including Abed Al-Rahman Zeidan, a Palestinian lawmaker signed the petition.

“My husband was under tremendous pressure,” Laila said. “The family wanted to banish us from the West Bank and people started rumors that my husband wasn‎‎’t mentally stable. I wanted my husband to discipline her. We took away her phone and limited her movement.”

On Saturday, Munther drove to Ramallah to bring his daughter home.

“He told us she will be safe and he won’t surrender to the family’s pressure,” Suad told The Media Line.

According to Suad, Thamar went to her room. After checking on her, Laila went out to harvest the family’s olive trees. “He said he was going to talk to her,” Laila said, her voice catching. “”That’s all he said.”

According to the police, based on his confession, Munther attacked Thamer in her room.

“My sister’s voice is usually loud, but this time no one heard her,” Suad said sadly. “He had put one hand on her mouth and he choked her with the other hand.”

Laila came back around noon to find the home surrounded by police. After the killing, Munther had gone straight to the local police station and turned himself in. For some of the relatives, the death was a cause for celebration. Thamer’s aunt held a feast celebrating that the family’s honor was now clean.

But for the immediate family, it was and remains a tragedy.

“My father doesn’t understand that he will go straight to hell now,” Suad told The Media Line bitterly. Later on the family found a letter written by Munther in which he outlines his plan to kill his daughter. The family believes the letter was written the day before the murder in which Munther clearly states he holds all who circulated the petition against the family to be responsible.

The letter, acquired by The Media Line, began by apologizing to his wife, children and grandchildren.

“Don’t hold any kind of funeral for my daughter, and don’t let those who signed the petition into my house,” the letter states.

Thamar’s immediate family is still angry at those who demanded that the “family honor” be restored.

“Thamar’s sisters kicked relatives who came to pay their respects out of their house. They were angry because they believe these were the same people who helped spread gossip that led to killing Thamar,” her brother-in-law Zaher Mohammed told The Media Line. “My wife and her family are suffering in silence publicly, but at home the loss is more devastating than just the death of one person. The whole family is traumatized.”

According to the Jordanian personal status law which is still in force in the West Bank, crimes of passion such as honor killings are punished with reduced sentences.

As Munther awaits trial, Suad and her husband agree that a long jail sentence might help put an end to honor killings.

Palestinian official statistics show that 24 women were killed in 2013 as opposed 13 last year.

“It’s not clear that honor killing is on the rise but we can say that documenting such cases has improved and police and media are more aware of them,“ Surayda Hassan, the General Director of the Women Affairs Technical Committee, told The Media Line.

She said that Islam demands four eye witnesses to adultery before an adulteress can be killed. Suspicion of adultery is not enough.

Laila visits her husband weekly in jail.

“We avoid talking about it as he is suffering physically,” Suad said. “He only recently stopped crying.”

Laila said her husband was reacting to the family’s demands to restore their honor.

“My husband is a peaceful man and this is completely out of character, but the pressure was too intense,” she told The Media Line.

Laila says her family will never recover.

“They took a piece of my heart. My only wish now is not to see anyone and live with my children alone,” Laila explained, “Every time I see Thamar’s children…,” she chocked up holding back her tears, “her children and my children will always be rejected,” Laila added.

Pakistan: 3 women shot dead in honor killings


PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Relatives have shot dead three women in a lawless tribal area of northwest Pakistan after one of them left her husband, officials said Monday.
The “honor” killings happened in Jawaki village in the Darra Adam Khel district, between the cities of Peshawar and Kohat.
A 22-year-old woman from Karachi who married a Jawaki shopkeeper about two years ago was accused of fleeing her husband’s house and marrying another man in the northwestern Swat valley with the help of her aunt and cousin, a local administration official told AFP.
The local tribal council or jirga intervened in the matter and decided on Sunday that the women should be killed.
Relatives shot the three dead at their house late Sunday and buried them on Monday morning, he added.
“It is a case of honor killings and was settled under tribal customs where the Pakistani criminal code is not applicable,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“According to the information gathered from local sources, the girl was not happy with her husband.”
Local intelligence officials confirmed the killings.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 943 women and girls were murdered in 2011 after being accused of tarnishing their families’ honor.
The statistics highlight the violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.