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US national who is the son of one of Pakistan's richest families is sentenced to death for raping and beheading diplomat's daughter, 27, after she rejected his proposal

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A month before Noor Muqaddam's murder, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan was accused of victim-blaming and encouraging misogyny when he suggested that increasing numbers of sex crimes in the country were partly due to women's choice of clothing.

"If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on men unless they are robots," Mr Khan said during an interview with the American TV network HBO.

His remarks angered women and sparked nationwide protests. A thread on Twitter asking survivors to share photos of their dresses and stories of abuse became a top trend.

In his defence, some female parliamentarians from his PTI party said the question had been taken out of context and that he should be judged by the measures his government is taking to empower and protect women......



A court in Pakistan has acquitted the father, brother and uncle of a woman who died in a suspected honour killing last year.

Sana Cheema, 26, lived in Italy but died while visiting her family in Gujrat in April 2018.

She was originally buried without an autopsy - but when exhumed a cause of death was identified as strangulation.

It was widely reported that she had been brought back to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, but refused.

Her friends also alleged Ms Cheema had wanted to marry a Pakistani-Italian man in Italy - a match her family objected to.

Ms Cheema was born in Pakistan, but lived in the northern Italian city of Brescia for most of her life.

After she died during a visit back to her home country, her family blamed natural causes and buried her locally.

Her death attracted a mass of attention on Italian social media and newspapers there reported it as a suspected honour killing,

After the outpour, Pakistani authorities exhumed Ms Cheema's body. They found her voice box was swollen and a neck bone had been dislocated - suggesting strangulation.



Police in the Pakistani city of Lahore have arrested a woman suspected of murdering her daughter for marrying without family consent.

Police say the body of Zeenat Rafiq shows signs of torture. She was doused with fuel and set alight.

Her mother Parveen is accused of luring her back from her in-laws.

It is the third such case in a month in Pakistan, where attacks on women who go against conservative rules on love and marriage are common.

Last week a young school teacher, Maria Sadaqat, was set on fire in Murree near Islamabad for refusing a marriage proposal. She died of her injuries.

A month earlier village elders near Abbottabad ordered the murder of a teenage girl who was burnt to death because she helped a friend to elope, police said.

Zeenat Rafiq, who was 18, had been burnt and there were signs of torture and strangulation, police told BBC Urdu. A post mortem examination may establish if she was still alive when she was set on fire.

Police Superintendent Ibadat Nisar said officers were looking for her brother who is "on the run". Her mother was found in the house with the body.

"Her mother has confessed to the crime but we find it hard to believe that a 50-year-old woman committed this act all by herself with no help from the family members," he said.

Neighbours contacted authorities after hearing screaming, but Ms Rafiq was already dead by the time police arrived, BBC reporter Saba Eitizaz says.

Ms Rafiq and her husband, Hassan Khan, married a week ago through the courts after eloping. They went to live with his family.

"When she told her parents about us, they beat her so severely she was bleeding from her mouth and nose," Mr Khan told BBC Urdu.

"Her family lured her back, promising reconciliation and a proper wedding reception. She was afraid, she said 'they are not going to spare me'. She didn't want to go but my family convinced her. How were we to know they would kill her like this?"

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