Pakistan enforces prison sentence for 'honour killers'

Qandeel Baloch (Facebook)
Qandeel Baloch (Facebook)

A new law imposing mandatory prison time for those convicted of 'honour killings' has passed in Pakistan. 

A loophole in past legislation allowed convicted killers to walk free if the family of the victim offered them forgiveness.

Now that loophole will only allow a killer to avoid the death penalty.  They will still serve the new mandatory 25 year prison sentence. 

The legislation change follows a series of killings sparking public outrage, including the murder of Pakistani model and social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was strangled  by her brother for bringing 'shame' on their family after posting pictures on Facebook.

She was one of over 1000 reported cases of women killed by relatives in similar 'honour killings' each year, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)

Her father Mohammed Azeem said the passing of the new law is an honour in the wake of his daughter's death.

"Qandeel has surrendered her life to pave the way for women's protection."

Hassan Khan is the husband of Pakistani woman Zeenath Rafiq, who was burnt to death by her mother for eloping. He says the new law will help bring an end to the ongoing oppression of women.

"The incident that affected me should not happen to anyone else in the future."