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Pakistan arrests six for honour killing of married couple

Karachi, Oct 27, 2016 (AFP) – Pakistani police on Thursday said they had arrested six men suspected of strangling a couple to death in the latest so-called honour killings to hit the country, weeks after the government passed long-awaited legislation to combat the crime.

The victims had been married for a year and were living in Karachi’s eastern Malir district after the woman left her previous husband and fled her home in the city’s west.

A tribal ‘jirga’ or informal council — which included her first husband and his relatives — sentenced the pair to death. Holding jirgas is illegal in Pakistan.

“They were strangled and buried in a graveyard by the jirga members,” Javed Akbar, a senior police officer told AFP, adding that the men were arrested on Tuesday.

Around a thousand Pakistan women fall victim to so-called honour killings each year — in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative for bringing shame to the family.

Perpetrators have often walked free because of a legal loophole that allowed them to seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member, but earlier this month the government passed a law that mandates life imprisonment even if the attacker escapes capital punishment via a relative’s pardon.

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