Pakistan Just Made Life Worse for 'Honor' Killers
Law passed for mandatory 25 years in prison
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2016 11:01 AM CDT
In this Sept. 7, 2016, photo, a local journalist shows the picture of slain British woman Samia Shahid on a cellphone in Dina, eastern Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

(Newser) – Pakistani lawmakers have passed a law that stiffens the penalty for convicted "honor" killers and closes a loophole that often allowed them to go free. The bill was passed Thursday after a raucous debate that lasted nearly four hours, the AP reports. The law gives a mandatory 25 years in prison to anyone convicted of killing in the name of honor and no longer allows family members to forgive the killers. More than 1,000 women were killed last year in so-called honor killings in Pakistan, often by fathers, brothers, or husbands, prompted by acts as innocent as a woman marrying the man of her own choice or being seen sitting with a man. Killers were rarely punished because of the forgiveness provision. Human rights activists have been battling for years for tighter laws.