Honor Killing in Punjab, Pakistan: Maria Bibi Murdered by Her Father and Brothers

Maria Bibi
Age: 22
Suffocated: March 17, 2024
Residence: Punjab
Origin: Pakistan
Children: none
Perpetrators: Father and brothers
On March 17, 22-year-old Maria Bibi fell victim to a family conspiracy in her bedroom at her father's home in Punjab, Pakistan. That night, while the young girl was sleeping in her room, her father and two brothers entered to carry out the horrible plan they had in mind. One of the brothers, Mohammad Faisal, went to the bed, put a pillow on the girl's mouth, and pressed it. Another brother named Shahbaz started filming, and Sattar, the father of the family, also witnessed the crime.

The publication of this video incited public anger in Pakistan, leading people across the country to protest against this heinous act and demand punishment for the family.

The video depicted one of the victim's brothers suffocating his sister for more than two minutes, while the father looked on calmly and even handed him a bottle of water, which the killer drank while atop his sister's body. Following the video's release, the police went to Sattar's house to arrest the perpetrators, but they had already fled.

Due to the public outrage in Pakistan and the widespread coverage of this crime online, the police took extensive measures to apprehend the killers. Last Sunday, they announced the arrest of Shahbaz, who filmed the suffocation of his sister and ignited public fury by releasing the video. Subsequently, Sattar and Faisal were also arrested.

Attaullah, one of the police officials, mentioned that Shahbaz's wife was present at the crime scene and in the video, and she too was arrested. According to him, the motive for the murder has not yet been determined. However, Faisal apparently saw his sister making a video call with an unknown man, which led them to commit such a heinous crime.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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