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Pakistan arrests brothers over woman's stoning

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 | 9:27 AM    

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LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police have arrested two brothers who participated in a mob attack during which their sister was stoned to death for marrying against the family's wishes, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

Nayab Haider said the two men, Ghulam Ali and Zahid Ali, were arrested from a home in the eastern Punjab province following an intensive manhunt.

Police arrested a third man for taking part in the assault, who claimed the woman, 25-year-old Farzana Parveen, was married to him at the time she wed against her family's wishes.

If true, it would add yet another twist to the increasingly bizarre story. Authorities said last week that the woman's husband, Mohammad Iqbal, was accused of killing his first wife in 2009, but that the case was dropped after he was forgiven by the woman's family.

Under Pakistani law, those charged with a slaying can see their criminal case dropped if family members of the deceased forgive them or accept so-called "blood money."

Parveen was killed May 27 before a crowd of onlookers near a downtown courthouse in the eastern city of Lahore.

The case has brought international attention to violence against women in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where hundreds of women are killed by relatives each year in so-called "honour killings" after allegedly bringing shame to their families through sexual transgressions. Activists say those who commit such crimes are often acquitted or given light sentences.

Authorities arrested the woman's father after the attack, and four other people were arrested last Friday.

Rizvi said a total of eight people were now in police custody, including the woman's father, two brothers, two cousins, an uncle, a driver, and the man who claims he was married to Parveen. "Senior and experienced police investigators are questioning the arrested persons. We will soon determine who hit the woman in the head with bricks," he said.

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