Tags: pakistan | honor | killer | law | forgiveness | loophole

Pakistan 'Honor' Killer Law Closes Forgiveness Loophole

Image: Pakistan 'Honor' Killer Law Closes Forgiveness Loophole

Pakistani lawmakers leave Parliament escorted by security man. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

By    |   Friday, 07 Oct 2016 08:00 AM

Pakistan's "honor" killer law just passed by its parliament closes a giant loophole that allowed a perpetrator to escape punishment if the victim's relatives forgave him.

Those convicted of a so-called "honor killing" can face up to life in prison for the crime, regardless of the victim's family reaction, reported Aljazeera. The law comes three months after Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother, causing outrage in parts of the country.

Aljazeera said about 500 women are killed each year in Pakistan by family members because of a perceived damage to the family's "honor." That involves anything from eloping, fraternizing with men, or any other infraction against conservative values relating to women.

In many cases, the killer is a relative who is never punished after seeking forgiveness from family members.

The new laws still allows for the victim's relatives to forgive the perpetrator, letting him escape the death penalty, but he would still have to serve a mandatory life sentence, according to The Guardian.

"The original bill was more stringent, but nonetheless, the new law will deter honor killings in the future because perpetrators will not be able to avoid convictions," said Sughra Imam, a former senator who first introduced the bill.

The BBC News said Baloch, 26, had become a celebrity in Pakistan for her outspoken posts on social media along with photographs which some in the conservative Muslim country saw as "raunchy."

Her brother, Waseem Azeem, reportedly told authorities he drugged her and then strangled her "for dishonoring the Baloch name."

The Guardian said the Pakistan government had promised to close the "family forgiveness" loophole after the documentary film "Saving Face" gained international attention. The film, which followed plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad helping women who had been scarred by acid attacks, won the Academy Award for best short subject documentary in 2012.

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Pakistan's "honor" killer law just passed by its parliament closes a giant loophole that allowed a perpetrator to escape punishment if the victim's relatives forgave him.
pakistan, honor, killer, law, forgiveness, loophole
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2016-00-07
Friday, 07 Oct 2016 08:00 AM
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