Few cases of femicide make news in Pakistan, but the beheading of an ambassador’s daughter promises to test a legal system that activists say has repeatedly failed victims of violence and needs urgent reform.
According to a police report seen by CNN, Noor Moghaddam, 27, died on July 20 after being tortured and murdered by an acquaintance: 30-year-old Zahir Jaafar, the son of an influential family and a citizen of Pakistan and the United States. United State. .
Moghaddam’s death might have been lost in Pakistan’s crime statistics, had it not been for his situation and Jafar’s family connections, as well as the burgeoning murder site in Block F7, one of Pakistan’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Islamabad.
In the days following his death, Pakistanis demanded #JusticeforNoor on Twitter, and a GoFundMe page to raise money for his family’s legal fees reached nearly $50,000 before his family asked to shut it down, according to a letter at the scene.
The letter indicated that the family faces a protracted legal battle, despite allegations of “strong circumstantial and legal evidence” of Jafar’s guilt by his chief legal advisor Shah Khawar.
Jaafar was arrested at the scene of the alleged attack and later charged with premeditated murder. His lawyer, Ansar Nawaz Mirza, said he had not spoken to Jaafar since the alleged attack, but said his client “deserves a fair trial”.
Activists are using the case to renew calls for the country’s parliament to pass a law criminalizing domestic violence. Although the law, if passed, would only apply to the Islamabad capital region, activists believe it will encourage other provinces to pass similar legislation, as the capital is controlled by the country’s ruling party.
After being retained in the Senate, the Senate, the bill was sent for review to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), the constitutional body that advises the legislature on whether or not a particular law is disgusting. to Islam.
The council has a poor record on domestic violence: In 2016, it proposed its own bill to allow men to “gently beat their wives.”
Women’s rights activists fear that the Board of Governors will use its influence in the legislation to repeal the bill, sending the message that violence against women in their homes is permitted, or even tolerated.
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Moghadam’s photos shared with CNN by friends and family show a tall, lively young woman, posing under the glare of colored lights and glowing from motion pictures. Another picture shows her with strands of jasmine in her hair, holding a small dog on her chest, her long wavy hair lopsided.
Her friend and feminist activist Zahra Haider told CNN that Moghadam “was that girl who went the extra mile for her loved ones” who loved eating fast food and “dancing on the roof in the rain.”
His father Shukhat Moghaddam, a prominent Pakistani diplomat and former envoy to South Korea and Ireland, said he was born in Jordan. He told CNN that his daughter was a kind-hearted child who “loved animals and made her family laugh.”