Farzana Parveen, 25, was fatally beaten with bricks
She was killed after she married a man against her family's wishes
Her father, ex-husband and brothers are among the latest arrests
Five people arrested in the public stoning death of a pregnant Pakistani woman will be taken to an anti-terrorism court, authorities said.
Farzana Parveen, 25, was killed in Lahore because she married a man against her family’s wishes.
The latest arrests include her two brothers and her ex-husband.
The mob of 28 people that attacked her included members of her immediate family, authorities said.
Police arrested her father, her uncle, two cousins and the driver who brought them to Lahore, said Zulfikar Hameed, the lead investigator in the case.
The court is treating the act as an act of terror that has “wider consequences on the safety and well being of all of society,” according to lawyer Maliha Zia, who works for Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani women’s rights organization.
She said she was worried that international pressure may have forced the government to convene an anti-terrorist court in an act of “show and tell.”
Pakistani police officers will be investigated because they didn’t intervene when Parveen was publicly beaten to death with bricks, a court official said.
Such killings not uncommon
Such killings often originate from tribal traditions in Pakistan but are not a part of Islam. They usually happen in rural areas, not large cities such as Lahore. Human rights activists said bystanders, including police, often don’t intervene because the killings are considered family matters.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 women were victims last year (PDF) in the nation of about 180 million people.
Women’s rights advocates say the actual number may be much higher. The United Nations estimates that at least 5,000 women worldwide die yearly in such killings.
The prevalence of violence against women in Pakistan became apparent Thursday when Parveen’s husband, Mohammad Iqbal, revealed to CNN that he killed his first wife six years ago so he could marry Parveen. His son said Iqbal served a year in jail.