Skip to main content

Pakistani newlyweds decapitated by bride's family in honor killing

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Sun June 29, 2014
  • Newlyweds in Pakistan are killed by the bride's family over opposition to the wedding
  • Police say the couple was lured back to the bride's village, tied up and beheaded
  • Family members turned themselves in after the murders and are now jailed

(CNN) -- A young newlywed couple in northeastern Pakistan died a horrible death at the hands of the bride's family in the latest honor killing in the nation, police in Pakistan said Saturday.

The couple, identified as Sajjad Ahmed, 26, and Muawia Bibi, 18, were married by a Pakistani court on June 18 against the wishes of the Bibi family, Punjab police official Mohammad Ahsanullah told CNN.

On Thursday, the bride's father and uncles lured the couple back to the village of Satrah in Punjab province, where Ahsanullah said the pair were tied up and then decapitated.

Despite the fact that there were no outside witnesses, family members turned themselves in to police and are now jailed in the Sialkot district of Punjab, Ahsanulluh said.

Outrage over honor killings in Pakistan
Human rights activist speaks on violence
Getting away with murder in Pakistan
Fighting honor killings in Muslim world

Such killings often originate from tribal traditions in Pakistan and usually happen in rural areas. Human rights activists said bystanders, including police, don't often interfere because the killings are considered to be family matters.

According to the United Nations, some 5,000 women are murdered by family members in honor killings every year.

However, women's advocacy groups believe the crime is underreported and that the actual death toll from this all too common crime is actually much higher.

In Pakistan, 869 women were victims of honor killings last year, according to the country's human rights commission.

Earlier in June, 18-year-old Saba Masqood was found left for dead inside of a sack in a canal in Pakistan, injured by gunfire. She accused her brother and father of shooting her because they didn't approve of her marriage to a neighbor. She survived, but many aren't so lucky.

Last month, the death of a pregnant Pakistani woman made headlines around the world.

Farzana Parveen, 25, was attacked with bricks by about 20 people, including members of her immediate family, police said. And her husband, Mohammad Iqbal, told CNN that he had killed his first wife six years ago so he could marry Parveen.

Pregnant Pakistani woman beaten to death with bricks

I killed my first wife, stoned Pakistani woman's husband says

CNN's Sophia Saifi and Deborah E. Bloom contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
'Honor' murders
updated 6:44 PM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012
From behind the steel bars of his jail cell, Muhammad Ismail described with uncanny ease how he shot and killed for honor his wife and two relatives. And he says:
From his jail cell, Muhammad Ismail described with uncanny ease how he shot and killed his wife and two relatives.
updated 1:56 PM EST, Mon January 30, 2012
New York University's Irshad Manji says Muslims must learn to differentiate between culture and religion to end the killing.
"This idea that 'somehow a girl has besmirched our honor and therefore the thing to do is kill her' is bizarre," one expert says.
updated 1:01 PM EDT, Thu August 23, 2012
One woman's death alerted Palestinians to so-called "honor" murders, and led to harsher laws. CNN's Diana Magnay reports.
updated 5:35 PM EDT, Fri August 24, 2012
A woman who escaped being forced into marriage as a girl campaigns in UK schools against arranged marriages and so-called "honor" crimes.
updated 1:02 AM EDT, Mon August 20, 2012
CNN's Atika Shubert takes a look at the 'honor' murder of Shafilea Ahmed, a teen of Pakistani descent who lived in England.
updated 7:48 AM EDT, Fri August 24, 2012
A woman tells CNN how she is living under the threat of death because she asked for a divorce.
updated 11:05 PM EST, Sun January 29, 2012
CNN's Ralitsa Vassileva talks with Engy Abdelkader of Karamah about "honor" killings in Muslim communities.