This past July, 26-year-old Qandeel Baloch, better known as “Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian” for her provocative social media posts and online appearances, was strangled to death by her brother. Because of her popularity, it put a focus on so-called “honor” killings, where women (it’s almost always women) are murdered by people close to them because they’ve supposedly shamed their family in some way.
It looks like Pakistan’s parliament has finally done something about it.
Pakistan’s parliament unanimously passed legislation against “honor killings” three months after the high-profile murder of an outspoken social media star.
A joint session of the lower and upper houses of parliament, broadcast live on television, approved the new anti-honor killing law, removing a loophole in existing law that allows family members to pardon a killer.
Not only can family members not pardon killers anymore, anyone convicted of an “honor” killing will be given a mandatory 25-year prison sentence.
Whether that’s enough of a deterrent to prevent these crimes in the future, we’ll soon find out. Before the bill, women could be killed in the name of protecting a family’s reputation, and their murderers could walk the streets later that afternoon knowing they would never be prosecuted.
Despite the four-hour debate over the legislation — as if there was anything worth debating — it’s also good to hear it passed unanimously. This sort of bill needs the full weight and support of the government. It’s just too bad it took this long — and a celebrity’s death — to make it happen.
(Screenshot via BBC. Thanks to Rogue for the link)