30 May 2014

Pakistan's PM denounces stoning death

10:03 pm on 30 May 2014

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has described the stoning to death of a woman by her family in front of a Lahore court as "totally unacceptable".

Farzana Parveen, who was three months pregnant, was pelted with bricks and bludgeoned on Tuesday by relatives furious because she married against their wishes.

In parts of Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation of 180 million people, women are expected to agree to arranged marriages and refusal can result in an "honour killing", the ABC reports.

Many Pakistani families think it dishonourable for a woman to fall in love and choose her own husband.

The case of the 25-year-old who was murdered outside Lahore's High Court has shocked Pakistan and the world.

She was killed by a mob that included her father and brother for marrying against her family's wishes.

Witnesses say police stood by and watched.

All the suspects, except the father, who has been detained, have disappeared.

Mr Sharif has called for immediate action and for those responsible to be arrested and put on trial.

In a sordid twist, Ms Parveen's husband Muhammed Iqbal admitted on Thursday that he killed his first wife and was spared jail because he was forgiven by his son.