Honor Killings Still Persist in Pakistan
2 months ago “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” won an Oscar for bringing attention to Pakistan’s “honor” killings. The Prime Minister of Pakistan even screened the movie at his residence back in March. Despite the effort to raise awareness, though, 4 more “honor” killings have occurred recently.
According to Dunya News, the upper house of Pakistan’s Parliament passed the Anti-Honor Killing Laws Amendment Bill 2014. It is now awaiting the approval of the National Assembly. Honor killing has been illegal since 2004, but the law is reportedly ineffective.
The most recent honor killing took place on June 12, 2016. Saqib Ishaq masih killed his teenage sister, Anum Ishaq masih, by hitting her over the head with a wooden log because she had intentions to marry a Christian neighbor. Their father pressed charges and Saqib was arrested for murder. In Pakistan the law allows for families to pardon perpetrators, which often happens after honor killings because a majority of them take place within families. If their father had not pressed charges, Saqib would not have been punished in any way.
Anum’s murder followed other honor killings, including that of Zeenat Rafiq, who was burned to death by her mother after she eloped.
According to The Nation, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated that 1,096 women and 88 men lost their lives to honor killings in 2015.