January 14, 2007

In the name of honor: Pakistan couple burnt alive

UFB, from Times of India:

In a spine-chilling incident of honour killing, a couple were burnt alive in a Pakistan village in front of their children, 10 years after their marriage, police said on Wednesday. Zahoor Ahmed and his wife Naseem were charred in front of their four children in Chak Saboo village on Tuesday. Ahmed had allegedly kidnapped Naseem 10 years ago to marry her, police said. In another incident, the nose and ears of a man were chopped off at Inayatpur Mahota, near Multan, on Tuesday because he married a girl from a rival clan in court two years ago, police said. Twenty-two people barged into the house of Iqbal and took him, along with his brother Yasin and their mother, to a nearby field and cut off his nose and ears. The attackers also chopped the ears off the man's brother and severed his mother's hand in the latest "honour" crime to hit Pakistan's conservative rural areas.

"The assailants, who were armed with small arms, daggers and axes, tortured Iqbal and cut off his ears and nose when he refused to produce Shenhaz," Naeem-ul-Hassan, a deputy superintendent of police, said. "They dragged us on the floor and thrashed us before cutting our limbs," Mohammad Yasin, Iqbal's brother said from Nishtar hospital, where he was being treated along with his brother and mother. Iqbal's wife Shehnaz was not at home when the attackers barged into her in-laws' house and demanded that she be turned over. Shehnaz married Iqbal out of choice last year. Police have arrested five suspects. Human rights groups say about 1,000 people are killed in honour-related crimes every year in Pakistan. In some cases, women who marry against their families' will and their in-laws are disfigured as punishment.