A man was tortured to death in Pakistan over an affair with a married woman, police said Tuesday, a rare case of a male falling victim to an “honor killing.”
The murder came days after social media starlet Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother who said he was “not embarrassed” to have killed her, reigniting calls for action against the crime. Hundreds of women are murdered by relatives in the country each year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honor, but it is relatively rarer for the victim to be a man.
The latest incident happened in the impoverished central district of Dera Ghazi Khan on Monday, police said. Allah Ditta, 24, was stabbed multiple times by a group of five men after they spotted him in the village of the woman he was allegedly having an affair with.
A local police official said Ditta began the relationship when he was working for the woman’s brother-in-law, and that she ran away with him in May but returned home two weeks later after the village council intervened.
Ditta’s arms were cut off as were his lips and nose, the official said. District police chief Ata Muhammad Khan confirmed the incident: “The victim was taken to hospital where he died.”
He added it appeared to be an “honor killing” and that police were now searching for the suspects. The woman was not harmed.
The killing of Baloch has triggered fresh calls for legislation to amend Pakistan’s criminal code, which allows murderers to avoid jail by seeking forgiveness from a victim’s relatives—a convenient means of escape particularly in honor killing cases.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy examined the phenomenon of honor killings in an Oscar-winning documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailed the film and vowed, in February, to push through anti-honor killing legislation. However, no action has been taken since then.