Pakistan Vows to Crack Down on Honor Killings

A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Musharraf issued a public call to end honor killings in that country, the BBC reported that two women in were murdered in what were believed to be honor killings.

In one incident, a man murdered his 21-year-old sister and her husband for marrying without first gaining the consent of the family. In the other incident, a man murdered his 17-year-old sister based on his belief that she was having an affair of some sort.

Estimates by human rights organizations suggest that 400-500 women are victims of honor killings every year in Pakistan. On February 10, Musharraf said that such murders were a “curse” and that his government would prosecute people accused of such crimes (Pakistani police have been accused in the past of doing only cursory investigations into suspected honor killings). Musharraf also called for more debate on Pakistan’s Hadood laws that, among other things, require four male witnesses for women to pursue rape charges against men.

Sources:

Pakistan ‘honour killings’ arrest. Paul Anderson, BBC, February 11, 2004.

Musharraf plea on ‘honour killings’. BBC, February 10, 2004.

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