Two Pakistani-origin Spanish sisters were allegedly shot dead by their paternal uncle after they refused to help their husbands move to Spain. The accused was also the father-in-law of one of the victims.

Arooj Abbas and Aneesa Abbas, aged between 21 and 23, were forced to marry their cousins last year in Pakistan. The victims were unhappy with their marriages and wanted to divorce their husbands, which was unacceptable to the family.

The sisters were called back to Pakistan by their family on May 19 and were shot dead a day later in the north-eastern district of Gujrat, according to a report in Dawn.

"The family created a story to convince them to come to Pakistan for a couple of days," said Gujrat police spokesperson Nauman Hassan. They were severely tortured before being shot dead.

According to local media reports, an argument had broken out amongst the family members after the two sisters refused to sign papers that would have helped their husbands emigrate to Spain.

Six people, including the victims' brother, a paternal uncle, both husbands, a cousin and both fathers-in-law have been slapped with murder charges. Two unknown suspects and another relative have also been charged.

The women's mother, Azra Bibi, who was locked away in a room when the incident took place, told the police that her daughters had refused to live with their husbands and that is why they were killed.

" brother Hanif and my daughters' husbands severely beat them and shot them dead. I begged them to spare their lives but the killers did not listen," she said, according to a report in

Violence against women in Pakistan has become endemic. According to a report by Human Rights Watch on Pakistan, "Violence against women and girls – including rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage – remains a serious problem throughout Pakistan."

Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON