Sunday, December 19, 2004

Dateline: Pakistan

Pakistan adopts death penalty for 'honour' killings

Pakistan's National Assembly has passed legislation proposing the death penalty for those who kill women in the name of family honour.

Under centuries-old tribal customs, hundreds of Pakistani women are victims of so-called honour killings every year.

Women can be murdered for marrying for love, committing adultery or earning an inadequate dowry.

In many cases, the killers go free because some police and prosecutors do not consider them to be criminals.

The new bill just passed, proposes the death sentence for the most extreme cases, and prison terms up to life for lesser cases.