A 19-year-old Pakistani woman died on Wednesday after being tortured and burned alive in the country’s conservative northeast region for refusing to get married to the son of her former colleague.
Maria Sadaqat was attacked, severely tortured and lit on fire by a group of people on Monday in the Upper Dewal village near the Murree summer hill resort outside Islamabad. Sadaqat was taken to a hospital alive and seemed to be recovering but she eventually succumbed to her burn injuries.
"She was badly tortured and then burned alive. We brought her to hospital in Islamabad but she succumbed to her wounds today," Abdul Basit, the victim’s uncle, told AFP at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.
Sadaqat’s other relatives grieved and wept outside the hospital. They also protested the teen’s torture and death as the policemen moved her remains to another facility for a post-mortem.
Basit explained that her niece was attacked by a private school principal where she worked as a teacher in the past. The school principal and his accomplices attacked Sadaqat for refusing to marry his son.
"He was divorced and twice her age, so she refused the proposal and left her job when they pursued her time and again... eventually they attacked her," Basit said.
Police stated that the victim was able to give the names of the school principal and his four accomplices before succumbing to her fatal injuries. "We have arrested at least one of the accused and a hunt is on for the rest," officer Mazhar Iqbal said.
The murder of Sadaqat is already the second time in just over a month that a woman in Pakistan has been killed over a marriage-related problem.
A teenage girl, between the age of 16 to 18, was drugged, strangled, and burned on April 29 for helping her friend elope with her lover. In Pakistan, hundreds of women are murdered by their own relatives for defending what they believe as “family honor.”