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How Stoning of a Woman Riled the World

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy
May 30, 2014
cnn.com

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"We were shouting for help, but nobody listened," said Muhammad Iqbalabout the slaying of his pregnant 25-year-old wife, Farzana Parveen, at the hands of her relatives, who gathered to kill her in front of a courthouse in Lahore, Pakistan.

More than 20 members of the woman's family stoned her to death for the "crime" of "dishonoring" her family by choosing to marry someone she loved rather than a husband her family had chosen. A police officer said "one family member made a noose of rough cloth around her neck while her brothers smashed bricks into her skull."

Social media immediately picked up on the horrific and very public killing. #Farzana became a hashtag that provoked a conversation about the crime of so-called "honor killings" and society's tolerance and the police's alleged indifference to it. Suddenly a crime that not long ago would barely have elicited a headline was now a source of conversation and consternation among those on social media both within and outside Pakistan. And discussion about the slaying turned up another grim fact: Iqbal told CNN he killed his first wife so he could be free to propose to Farzana.

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