TIME Pakistan

Pakistan Stiffens Penalty for ‘Honor’ Killings

Pakistani women take part on the eve of International Women
Rana Sajid Hussain—Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images Pakistani women take part on the eve of International Women Day in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan on Oct. 3, 2016.

Parliament closed a loophole that allowed "honor" killers to go free

(ISLAMABAD) — Pakistani lawmakers have passed a law that stiffens the penalty for convicted “honor” killers and closes a loophole that often allowed them to go free.

The bill was passed Thursday after a raucous debate that lasted nearly four hours. The law gives a mandatory 25 years in prison to anyone convicted of killing in the name of honor and no longer allows family members to forgive the killers.

More than 1,000 women were killed last year in so-called honor killings in Pakistan, often by fathers, brothers or husbands, prompted by acts as innocent as a woman marrying the man of her own choice or being seen sitting with a man. Killers were rarely punished because of the forgiveness provision. Human rights activists have been battling for years for tighter laws.

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