Women’s and human rights groups gathered yesterday in Islamabad, Pakistan to protest the killing of Samia Imran and to demand new laws to protect women against so-called “honor killings.”
In countries throughout the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and Brazil, women and girls are routinely killed by family members who believe that they have violated their family’s honor in some way. The blood of the victim is thought to restore a family’s reputation in the community. Women are often killed for disobedience to their husbands or parents or for alleged sexual transgressions. Imran was killed because her family disapproved of her decision to divorce her husband.
The organizer of the demonstration, the Joint Action Committee for Women’s and Citizen’s Rights, stated that honor killings “occur regularly in Pakistan,” and accused state institutions of failing to protect women who are threatened by their family members. The group also alleged that the murderers of wives, daughters and mothers receive support from officials.