Woman Killed By Her Brother in Pakistani Courtroom

Last Wednesday, a Pakistani woman was shot dead by her brother in the middle of a courtroom in the city of Hyderabad. The murder took place during court proceedings after the victim married a man her family disapproved of, sparking rage and pushing them to file a complaint against the married couple.

The Guardian reports that the young woman, 22-year-old Raheela Sehto, married a young university graduate named Zulfiqar Sehto, fomenting rage throughout her family. The case was brought to court as a kidnapping in the family’s attempt to reclaim their daughter. Raheela was shot by her brother, Javed Iqbal Shaikh, in the middle of the courtroom. He took matters into his own hands after a short break in court proceedings last week, shooting her in the left side of her head and killing her almost instantaneously.

The August murder took place after an earlier attempt made by Raheela’s uncle to strangle her in court in July with a scarf. Javed Iqbal Shaikh appeared not to feel any remorse about his actions telling journalists, “I did that in rage because she had dishonored the family.”

He had also attempted to shoot Raheela’s husband before security tackled him and stopped him from continuing to fire into the courtroom. Shaikh had originally smuggled the gun into court proceedings under a large coat, the Daily Mail reports. Four other family members have been charged in the killing along with Raheela’s brother. This is the first so-called “honor killing” to happen publicly in a courtroom in Pakistan.

The couple at the center of the recent murder was trying to get the court to throw out the kidnapping charges and receive official protection from the threats of Raheela’s family.

Although the Guardian notes that the family members involved in the murder were quite well-educated and lived in a populous city, an uncommon mixture of factors in such a murder case, Raheela’s murder can be understood in the wider context of honor killings. Just last week, the parents of a teenager were charged with murdering their daughter after officials discovered her body. Sources in that case revealed that her parents had abused her because she did not want to enter an arranged marriage.

This most recent shooting ended in tragic melancholy. The young groom, Zulfiqar Sehto, was deeply grieved and told reporters that he hopes Raheela’s murderers are brought to justice. The Guardian notes that there was a 27% increase in honor killings between 2010 and 2011 in Pakistan. The term “honor killing” has a long and uncomfortable history in court proceedings. The term has a subjective undertone that can complicate the way motives and sentences are defined and meted out.

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Photo Credit: fraboof


Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone3 years ago

Disgusting savages, uncivilized and deserve to continue be only a 3rd world classification.

Amy L.
Amy L3 years ago


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin3 years ago

If they can't force their daughters to marry some 80 year old cousin's grandfather, they decide they have been dishonored. This horrendous action is just the latest in an ever-increasing spiral of violence against women who don't conform to patriarchal traditions and religions. Several women all over Europe, have died after "falling" from balconies. They have actually been thrown over the banister by family members. The latest happened yesterday. We can't let this continue! Unfortunately, we can't do much about what happens in Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran, Iraq and other muslim countries, but we can stop it in countries of a more secular belief system. Europe, North and Latin America and Australia have to put the foot down and come down harshly on those insisting on "controlling their women"!

Lori H.
Lori H3 years ago

My post was cut off, so here's the rest.................
If I remember correctly, Jesus never once told fathers to sell their daughters, etc. etc. as Grace indicates.

Please don't misunderstand. There are many things I do NOT agree with in the Christian faith. I stepped away from their "inside the box" thinking a long time ago. But, I simply had to speak up about the Christians I've known most of my life, because none of the have the mindset that Grace spoke of.
*If this posts twice, I apologize. It seems that Care2 is suffering more glitches*

Lori H.
Lori H3 years ago

Ernest, my area is predominantly Baptist and they DO follow the New Testament. However, they also refer to teachings in the Old Testament. They will also tell you that Jesus spoke out against homosexuals. Romans 1:26-27. There are other passages that Christians claim are referring to homosexual activity, such as 1 Timothy 1:9-10 (Don't misunderstand me please, I am NOT in agreement with them.) The Lord's Prayer is just that, a prayer. But it is NOT a "law" of the old testament. It is, as I said, nothing but a prayer, therefore, it does not matter where it is, in the Bible. It can be recited by anyone at any time they choose. I seldom ever heard it recited during services, when I was a church going person.

So yes, there are times when they will refer back to Old Testament teachings. However, I still stand by what I said in my other post in reference to Grace's comments about fathers selling their daughters in the Christian faith, along with her other comments, such as a rebellious child worthy of death, and the being barefoot and pregnant etc. Her statement was totally ridiculous among any and all Christians I know today. That simply does not happen among any of the Christians I know in these modern times. If you know any Christians that follow what Grace said, then in my mind, they are way off base, because they are supposed to follow Christ, hence the name "Christian". If I remember correctly, Jesus never once told fathers to sell their daughters, etc. etc

Ernest Roth
Ernest R3 years ago

@ Sri V. “As for Suttee, you may check in wikipedia. It never had any religious sanction”. I did check in Wikipedia which does give a religious [Hindu]connection for the sacred practice first recorded in the first century.

Ernest Roth
Ernest R3 years ago

@ Patricia M. “this barbaric religious cult (& that is all I see the Muslim religion as being) that run these Middle-Eastern nations is hopeless & we cannot bring them our values" Patricia, we are not there to bring them our values, not even if we could figure out what our values are.

Ernest Roth
Ernest R3 years ago

@ Lori H. “as "Christians", they follow the new testament, (As in the teachings of Christ) not the laws of the old”. Most Christians I know are heavily into Old Testament rules like The Lord’s Prayer, Leviticus,{ the homosexual allusion anyway}and lots of irrelevant quotes like :”Be fruitful and multiply”. What denomination do your friends belong to ?

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine3 years ago


Susan B.
Susan B3 years ago

These people need to leave the Dark Ages and start living in the 21st Century.