Family Stones Pakistani Women In So-Called 'Honor Killing'

A young Pakistani woman was stoned to death in public by her own family Tuesday for the crime of marrying the man she loved, reports NBC.

In the eastern city of Lahore, Farzana Iqbal, age 25, had been waiting for the high court to open when suddenly a group of over a dozen men began pelting her with bricks. Farzana suffered severe head injuries and was later pronounced dead in the hospital.

According to Pakistani police officer Umer Cheema, the men responsible for the killing were members of her own family, including her father, the only suspect apprehended by authorities. 

Farzana had previously been engaged to her cousin in an arranged marriage of her father's liking, but she chose instead to marry the man she truly loved, causing her family to file a kidnapping charge against her husband. She arrived at the court Tuesday hoping to testify she had married him out of her own free-will and received death by stoning for "having disgraced her family's honor."

According to the Pakistani rights group the Aurat Foundation, around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed each year in so-called "honor killings" with the culprits usually being members of the woman's family. NBC believes the figures are slightly higher because the Aurat Foundation compiles its figures from news reports and the Pakistani government does not file national statistics.