Pakistani mother reportedly burns daughter to death for eloping

How One Inspiring Filmmaker Is Working To End Honor Killings In Pakistan
How One Inspiring Filmmaker Is Working To End Honor Killings In Pakistan

Police in Lahore, Pakistan, arrested a woman suspected of burning her teenage daughter alive as punishment for marrying against the family's wishes.

Officials say Parveen Rafiq tied her daughter, Zeenat, to a cot before dousing her in fuel and setting her alight. Neighbors reportedly tried to help after hearing screams, but said family members kept them from entering the home.

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According to The Guardian, "The victim's husband, Hassan Khan, told reporters the pair had been 'in love since our school days' but Zeenat's family had rejected several marriage proposals, forcing them to elope last month."

Police arrived on the scene and arrested the mother, who confessed to the crime, the same day. They are still searching for her son, who is suspected of assisting in the attack.

See images of Rafiq and her husband:

Crimes such as this are not uncommon in Pakistan, a deeply conservative nation. A Human Rights Commission report found nearly 1,100 women were killed in the country last year by relatives who believed they had dishonored their families. About one-fourth of those cases involve the death of a minor.

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Last week police arrested two men and continued to search for five more who allegedly tortured and burned a 19-year-old schoolteacher to death for refusing to marry a man twice her age.

In May police arrested more than a dozen tribal leaders in a small village amid claims they burned a young woman to death for helping her friend elope.

Earlier this year Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to take a tougher stance on so-called 'honor killings,' telling The Guardian, "This is totally against Islam and anyone who does this must be punished and punished very severely."