Four Pakistani men, including victim’s father and brother, sentenced to death for bludgeoning to death Farzana Parveen – who was pregnant at the time – outside Lahore high court
Four men have been sentenced to death in Pakistan for the murder of a pregnant woman bludgeoned to death in the centre of the country’s second-largest city for marrying against her family’s wishes, lawyers said.
A mob of more than two dozen attackers, among them numerous relatives including the victim’s father and brother, battered Farzana Parveen to death with bricks outside the high court in the eastern city of Lahore in May.
So-called “honour” killings are commonplace in Pakistan but the brutal and brazen nature of Parveen’s killing meant the case made headlines around the world.
“The court today awarded death sentences to four accused – the father, brother, cousin and ex-husband of the victim for murder and terrorism,” prosecutor Rai Asif Mehmood told AFP.
Mehmood said the sentences were handed down for three counts – murder, terrorism and the killing of an unborn baby – and the court had also fined each defendant 100,000 rupees (£630).
The fifth accused in the case, a cousin of Parveen, was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment, Mehmood said.
Though Pakistan has the death penalty for several crimes, there has been a de facto moratorium on civilian executions since 2008.
Defence lawyer Mansoor Rehman Afridi said his clients would appeal the sentences.
“My clients will appeal against their sentences as we believe that the case had been politicised and the media coverage mounted pressure on us,” Mr Afridi told AFP.
The killing sparked outrage, with the United States branding the incident “heinous” and Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, demanding action to catch the killers.
Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the grounds of defending family “honour”.
But Pakistan’s blood-money laws allow a victim’s family to forgive the murderer, which makes prosecuting so-called “honour” cases difficult because the killer is usually a relative.
The husband of the murdered woman, Mohammad Iqbal, admitted he had strangled his first wife out of love for Parveen.
He was spared jail for his first wife’s murder because his sons persuaded her family to pardon him under the blood-money laws.