After electing to marry the man of her choice, a pregnant woman was beaten to death by her family yesterday in Pakistan, officials say.

The New York Times reports that 25-year-old Farzana Parveen was attacked by her family in front of a courthouse in Lahore, then beaten to death while a crowd of roughly 30 looked on. The motive for the attack was that Parveen had "defied" her family by marrying Muhammad Iqbal in January, as opposed to the cousin her family had selected for her. 

The family responded by filing a complaint against Iqbal, alleging that her kidnapped Parveen. Parveen, who was three months pregnant, was due to appear in court yesterday, and her attorney told the Times that she intended to tell the court that she married Iqbal under her own free will. 

During a meeting with her lawyer, a group of men from her village attacked her, and, shockingly, her own brother fired a gun at her. He missed, but she fell during an escape attempt, giving him the opportunity to repeatedly strike her in the head with bricks while the crowd—which included her father—watched.

As the Times notes, these "honor killings" are rare, but still occur far too often and reflect the inability of local authorities to protect the people. 

[via The New York Times]

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