RELIGION

Pakistan stiffens penalty for 'honor' killers

  • A Pakistani lawmaker from Pakistan's religious party leaves Parliament after attending a session in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.  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 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. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

    A Pakistani lawmaker from Pakistan's religious party leaves Parliament after attending a session in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. 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 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. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pakistani lawmaker from the People's party who moved the bill against honor killing, Aitzaz Ahsan, center, addresses media at the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.  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 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. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

    Pakistani lawmaker from the People's party who moved the bill against honor killing, Aitzaz Ahsan, center, addresses media at the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. 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 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. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pakistani legislator Sherry Rehman, right, from Pakistan's People's party who moved the bill against honor killing, talks to media with other lawmakers outside the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Rehman warned: “Remove these clauses which allow the option of forgiveness, otherwise these killings will keep happening.” Despite objections from religious hardliners, Pakistani lawmakers on Thursday passed a law that stiffens the penalty for convicted “honor” killers and closed a loophole that often allowed them to go free. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

    Pakistani legislator Sherry Rehman, right, from Pakistan's People's party who moved the bill against honor killing, talks to media with other lawmakers outside the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Rehman warned: “Remove these clauses which allow the option of forgiveness, otherwise these killings will keep happening.” Despite objections from religious hardliners, Pakistani lawmakers on Thursday passed a law that stiffens the penalty for convicted “honor” killers and closed a loophole that often allowed them to go free. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)  (The Associated Press)

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 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.