Last month, In Pakistan, a 21-year-old woman and her one-month-old baby were brutally killed by her brother for marrying someone they disapproved of. Now, the accused has been arrested and netizens are outraged at the incident.
The victims, identified by their first names, Aimen and Hussain, were murdered and buried on February 9 in the city of Muzaffargarh, Punjab province. The woman is believed to be fatally shot and the infant was supposedly strangled to death.
Although there were reports of the victims being buried alive, according to a report by Pakistani newspaper Dawn News, a police officer said that cops were unable to determine whether that happened looking at the available details.
Aimen’s mother-in-law, Sughra Bibi, said that the two lived with her husband, identified by his first name, Tariq, as well as her in laws.
According to Pakistani media outlets, Aimen’s brothers kidnapped her and her child and took her to their district of Ali Pur, where they were brutally killed.
According to reports, two of Aimen's brothers were allegedly invloved with the murders and they have been identified as Owais and Farooq. They were against Aimen marrying Tariq.
According to Dawn News, the brothers wanted her to file a kidnapping case against her husband, whom she had married approximately a year-and-a-half ago.
Police told Dawn News that one of the brothers confessed to killing his sister and her son, before disposing of their bodies by burying them in a deserted area.
‘My body, my will’
As the news of brutal murder surfaced online, social media users expressed their outraged. Many referenced the slogan ‘Mera Jism, Meri Marzi’ (My body, my will) which was at the centre of the recently held Women’s march in the country.
The march that was held in major cities in Pakistan on International Women’s Day, focused on women’s rights and violence against females.
Many criticised the slogan to be “vulgar” and against social and religious norms of the country. Now, after Aimen’s case emerged, people are highlighting why such movements are necessary.
Twitter user, @sabahbanomalik, reacted to the incident and wrote: “They killed their own sister and her baby because she had a child with her body with someone she wanted and that’s exactly why I will scream until the skin melts off the faces of you insecure, arrogant cowards #merejismmerimarzi.”
User @ADChanna tweeted: “I highly condemn this act of heinous crime. The culprits must be punished as per the law. The perception of male members of the family needs to be changed from the childhood. Needs a lot efforts to change it in the society.”
Honour killings in Pakistan
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, almost 300 women were victims of such killings in the first half of 2016. In a 2015 report by the World Economic Forum.
Honour killings were outlawed by Pakistan’s legal system but there were loopholes that perpetrators often depended on.
In 2016, Pakistan's government closed a loophole allowing those behind honour killings to go free. The New legislation means killers will get a mandatory life sentence.