In the video below, Saba reveals how her own family shot the girl for marrying her neighbor Muhammad Qaiser against its wishes.
You May Like To Check Out: Afghan Family Convicted Of Murdering 4 Relatives In Canadian Honor Killing Case
As a survivor of ‘honor killing’ who lives to tell the tale, she is a rarity in Pakistan. Saba says she was lured by her family to meet with them under the pretense of reconciliation.
"After bringing me there, they shot me. I was hit in the cheek by the first shot and in the hand by the next one. They thought I had died, but I was not dead. I was slightly conscious, but alive. They put me into a sack, tied up the mouth of the sack, and threw it into the canal - Inside a sack; and into the canal. They thought I was dead, but I was not," she told reuters from her hospital bed.
The teenager struggled in the water for several minutes before being helped to the bank by strangers. Police say the suspects fled the scene.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women were murderedin so called honor killings across the country and the number could easily be higher as not all are reported. At times, men involved with the victims of honor crimes are also targeted.
However, honor crimes are found in many parts of the globe and are not tied to any single religion. Cases have come forward in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Brazil, India, United Kingdom, Canada and Albania.
Widney Brown, the advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, says that the practice "goes across cultures and across religions". Human rights advocates have compared "honor killing" to "crimes of passion" in Latin America (which are sometimes treated extremely leniently).
Karen Tintori speaks of the issue in her book Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family and tells readers how her own great aunt’s brothers killed her when she eloped and married against the family’s wishes.
However, they occur with the greatest frequency in the Middle East and South Asia and only sparingly in South America and Central Asia.
It is also practiced by some immigrant populations in Europe. In many Western countries, the killings are mostly carried out by first or second-generation immigrants still tightly bound to their native cultures.
Honour Based Violence Awareness Network estimates that 5,000 honor killings take place globally every year, with about a 1,000 of those cases originating from India and Pakistan and 12 in UK.
What’s perhaps worse is the fact that honor killings, despite being illegal, are rarely prosecuted, and when they are, the result is relatively light sentences for the culprits.
Many legal systems are lenient with those who commit such crimes because the perpetrators are seen by some society members as defending traditional values and then there are the legal loopholes that allow killers to go free. One common loophole is a provision that allows the victim's closet of kin to forgive the killer.