Pakistan stoning: Farzana Parveen’s husband says he killed first wife

Watch above: Dozens of human rights activists in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad  protested the killing of pregnant woman by her own family. 

The horrific case of a pregnant Pakistani woman being stoned to death by her family has taken a bizarre and equally tragic twist.

The husband of Farzana Parveen, who was killed Tuesday in Lahore by a group that included her father, brother and cousin, has admitted to murdering his previous wife in order to marry Parveen.

Mohammed Iqbal, who decried the public stoning, told Agence France-Presse he strangled his first wife.

“I was in love with Farzana and killed my first wife because of this love,” he told AFP before turning off his phone and not answering further calls.

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CNN also reported getting the same admission from 45-year-old Iqbal.

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AFP reported Iqbal was arrested for murdering his first wife six years ago.

“Iqbal was a notorious character and he had murdered his first wife six years ago. A police case was lodged against him and he was on the run for many weeks,” senior police officer Zulfiqar Hameed told AFP. “He was arrested and later released after a compromise with his family.”

Hameed, who is investigating Parveen’s murder, told AFP police would file a report on Iqbal’s past to the government.

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Parveen’s father confessed to killing the 25-year-old who had married Iqbal against the family’s wishes. Her father called her murder an “honour killing.” One of her brothers tied a noose around her neck while a group of about 20 men smashed her head with bricks.

Sister poisoned four years ago, stepson claims

There was also a new claim on Thursday that the family killed another daughter, Parveen’s older sister Rehana, in a so-called honour killing four years ago.

The Telegraph reported Parveen learned her older sister was killed by her family just days before she was stoned to death.

The claims come from Parveen’s stepson Aurangzaib — Iqbal’s 20-year-old son.

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He told the Telegraph the family poisoned Rehana.

“She was married and wanted to live with her husband,” he told the paper “It was an arranged marriage but later her family developed issues with in-laws of her sister and started demanding her to leave her husband. When she denied doing so, one day the family invited her at their home and poisoned her.”

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Money to stay alive

The family wanted Parveen to marry a cousin — not Iqbal, who was said to be a neighbour and a widower, in earlier reports.

It was also reported Parveen’s family wanted 100,000 rupees (approximately CDN $1,100) to keep the couple alive — money that Iqbal did not have.

CNN reported Iqbal saying he gave her father 80,000 rupees (CDN $878) and gold jewelry for their approval to get married last year, but after the death of her mother in December, Parveen’s father and brothers refused to allow her to marry Iqbal.

According to Iqbal, they got married on Jan. 7 at a courthouse.

The woman’s family accused Iqbal of kidnapping Parveen. She was killed outside a courthouse in Lahore, where she and Iqbal had gone to contest that allegation.

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Parveen was laid to rest Thursday, reportedly at 2 a.m. in a village graveyard in the eastern province of Punjab, where Iqbal and Parveen were from.

Iqbal said she was buried at night because of the gruesome state of her remains, The Associated Press reported. About 100 mourners from Iqbal’s family reportedly attended the funeral.

The killing has shocked Pakistan and has sparked outrage around the world, but it’s far from being a rare case.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in honour killings in 2013.

With files from The Associated Press

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