Pakistan makes ‚honour killings‘ punishable

12.10.2016 - 17:47

Pakistan makes ‚honour killings‘ punishable by mandatory prison time. Those convicted of killing a ‘shameful’ female relative can no longer be pardoned by family members in exchange for blood money, new law states.

The right direction of law in Pakistan: Pakistani men who kill their female relatives in the name of honour will no longer be able to evade punishment after the country’s parliament finally passed long-promised legislation.

The landmark bill passed on Thursday guarantees mandatory prison sentences of 25 years and strips families of the right to legally pardon the perpetrators of so-called “honour killings”, a practice that has allowed thousands of murderers to walk free.

Because such crimes are usually carried out with the agreement of entire families, murderers are often released under Islamic “blood money” laws that rights activists have campaigned against for decades.

First incorporated in 1990, the Qisas (retribution) and Diyat (blood money) laws have fuelled an epidemic of honour killing, with 1,096 reported in 2015 – although the actual figure is probably far higher.

Daughters and sisters have been murdered for allegedly bringing shame on their families in various ways, including daring to marry men of their own choosing and, in one case this year, helping a friend elope.

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