Honor killing in Gujrat: two Spanish-Pakistani sisters murdered by in-laws

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Aneesa Abbas and Arooj Abbas
Born: 1998, 2001
Killed: 20 May 2022
Residence: Spain
Origin: Pakistan
Children: -
Perpetrators: father-in-law and paternal uncle
More than a year ago, Aneesa Abbas (24) and Arooj Abbas (21) forcibly married their cousins in Pakistan. The in-laws are displeased with the sisters because they still had not taken their spouses to Spain.

The family suspects that the sisters were unhappy with their forced marriages and therefore had deliberately delayed the visa process for their spouses. The family concocted a story to persuade the sisters to come to Pakistan for a few days.

On Friday evening, May 20, 2022, the mutilated bodies of Aneesa and Arooj Abbas were found in their in-laws' house in Gujrat. According to a police spokesman, the sisters were presumably strangled and shot to death by their paternal uncles. One uncle is also the father-in-law of one of the young women.

Police have not yet registered the case in anyone's name and are treating the case as "honor killing" and have begun conducting raids to arrest the suspects.

In Pakistan, an aggrieved party to "honor killings," such as the mother, for example, can report to the police and pardon the perpetrators after a period of time, which can result in an extremely short prison sentence. Muhammad Waseem, for example, was pardoned by his mother after spending nearly six years behind bars for the murder of his sister, the social media star Qandeel Baloch.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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