Farzana Parveen, a three month pregnant Pakistani woman, was stoned to death by brick wielding attackers as she made her way to testify in favor of her husband Muhammad Iqbal at the Lahore’s High Court.
Among those who attacked Parveen were her brothers and her father, who believed that Iqbal had kidnapped Parveen and forced her into marriage. Parveen had explained that that was not the case, and was at the court to set the record straight, on the day she was murdered.
Now, Iqbal is demanding justice in his wife’s death. “We demand justice,” he said, during a telephone interview with AFP from his home in Jaranwala after burying his wife . “We were being threatened since we got married.”
Iqbal then recounted the events that happened on that tragic day. “On Tuesday as we were going to court from our lawyer’s office almost 30 people attacked us, including her father, brothers and cousins,” he said. The people who were accompanying Parveen and Iqbal were shocked at the suddenness of the attack, and fled in different directions, leaving them to fend for themselves. “One of her brothers shot at her but missed, then the women in their group fell upon her and her brother and father finished her off,” Iqbal added.
Iqbal said that what hurts the most is that nobody even tried to save her. “The most painful thing is that nobody came forward to save my wife, the police were there and hundreds of lawyers were there along with ordinary men, but they all just watched like spectators.”
Tahira Abdullah, a women’s rights campaigner, explained that there were hundreds of people who witnessed the scene, but no one will come forward because of the possible repercussions. “The incident occurred in front of hundreds of people but nobody stepped forward to save them because people are afraid of mob justice,” she said. “People don’t speak up because they fear that they would either be framed for blasphemy or declared un-Islamic.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons