Britain condemns 'barbaric' murder of Pakistani woman
British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned on Thursday the "barbaric" murder of a pregnant woman by her family outside a courtroom in Pakistan.
Hague urged the Pakistani government to fully investigate the killing of 25-year-old Farzana Parveen and stamp out the practice of killings to defend family "honour".
Parveen was attacked on Tuesday outside the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore by more than two dozen brick-wielding attackers, including her brother and father, for marrying against the wishes of her family.
"I am shocked and appalled by the death of Farzana Parveen: both for the appalling manner of her death, and the unspeakable cruelty and injustice of murdering a woman for exercising her basic right to choose who to love and marry," Hague said a in a statement.
"There is absolutely no honour in honour killings and I urge the government of Pakistan to do all in its power to eradicate this barbaric practice.
"I call on the Pakistani authorities to investigate this atrocious murder fully and bring those responsible to justice."
Hague, who is hosting a global conference on sexual violence against women next month in London, said he hoped the case would spark a "wider debate" on the issue.
Earlier Thursday Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered provincial officials to take "immediate action" over the murder, which happened as police officers guarding the court apparently did nothing to intervene.
Hundreds of women are murdered by relatives in Pakistan each year for similar reasons but the brazen nature of the attack, in broad daylight and in the centre of the country's second-largest city, has shocked rights activists.
© 2014 AFP