Pakistan: Woman Suffers "Honor" Killing at the Hands of Brother in Open Court
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:50 AM

A high-profile Pakistani lawyer shot his sister point-blank in a crowded courtroom in Hydrebad out of anger that she had disgraced the family by marrying a life-long neighbor from the family’s small town.  The police overpowered the gunman before he could turn his gun on his brother-in-law. Four other family members, who were also in court, have been charged along with the killer.

“I did that in rage because she had dishonored the family,” said Javed Iqbal Shaikh.
Raheela Sehto, 22, married Zulfiqar Sehto, 30, a match of which her family disapproved and for which they did not grant permission.  After the family denied Sehto’s requests to marry their daughter and tried to marry her off to a man she did not know, the couple eloped. Although his wife’s uncle had tried to throttle her with a scarf in an earlier court appearance, Sehto indicated that had not feared for their lives in the courtroom that morning. 
“All I want is justice, I want the court to convict Javed and his accomplices with the death penalty,” he said of his wife’s killer.
"Honor" killings are a serious problem in Pakistan with rights group,  Aurat Foundation reporting 2,341 such killings in 2011, a 27 percent increase from the previous year.  Although some "honor" killings have occurred while the victim was in police custody, this murder marks the first in open court.  It was Shaikh’s privileged position as a lawyer allowed him to sidestep many of the security measures in place, including two metal detectors.

Compiled from: Boone, Jon.  “Pakistani wife in disputed marriage gunned down in court by her brother,” The Guardian, (5 August 2012), UN Wire, (13 August 2012).