In one case, a mother slit the throat of her pregnant daughter who had married a man she loved. In the city of Abbottabad, a teenage girl who helped a friend elope was tortured, injected with poison and then strapped to the seat of a vehicle and set on fire. A jirga, or council of local elders, ordered her killing as a message to others.
The brutality and rapid succession of killings horrified many Pakistanis. The numbers of such killings have been climbing. Last year, 1,096 women and 88 men were killed in “honor” crimes in Pakistan, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. In 2014, the number was 1,005 women, including 82 children, up from 869 women a year earlier. The true numbers are believed to be higher, with many cases going unreported, activists say.
Some human rights and women’s rights activists believe the rise in numbers and brutality reflects an older generation digging in against creeping change.