Pakistan must put an end to "honour killings": UN rights chief

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Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Strong and urgent measures are needed to end so-called "honour killings" in Pakistan, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has told the government there.

Navi Pillay released a statement on Wednesday following what she described as the "shocking" and "brutal" murder of a pregnant 25-year-old woman by her family.

Farzana Parveen was stoned to death in front of a court in Lahore because she married a man "of her own choice".

Stéphane Dujarric is the UN Spokesperson.

"The High Commissioner said that every year, hundreds of women are killed in Pakistan as punishment for marrying men their families have not chosen or for refusing arranged marriages. She urged the Pakistani Government to take urgent and strong measures to end these so-called 'honour killings' and other forms of violence against women. She added that the fact that Ms. Parveen was killed on her way to court shows a serious failure by the State to provide security for someone who was obviously at risk."  (28″)

People who carry out "honour crimes" are rarely prosecuted and often receive "absurdly light" sentences, Ms Pillay said.

According to her office, Pakistan has one of the highest rates of violence against women globally.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’14″

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