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Pak SC probing 'killing' of women sentenced to death for 'fornicating' at wedding

June 4, 2012 - Islamabad

Taking suo motu notice of media reports of the killing of four women who were earlier given a death sentence by a Jirga in Kohistan for defying strict tribal customs, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has summoned Chief Secretary of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, District Police Officer of Kohistan and Deputy Inspector General Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on June 6.

Media reports of the alleged killing of four girls and a fifth for being 'an accomplice' were presented before the chief justice by the registrar of the Supreme Court, reports The Express Tribune.

The jirga had declared four women and two men 'fornicators' after they were allegedly caught on videotape singing and dancing together at a wedding party in Bando Baidar village.

The video caused a furore in the community, who felt the video had stained the honour of their tribe. According to sources, elders of the Azad Khel tribe had summoned a jirga at the Seertaiy village, which sentenced the four women and the two men to death.

The chief justice ordered Attorney General Irfan Qadir to find out if the news reports about the incident were factual or not.

He further said that if the reports were bogus and such an incident never occurred, then the girls be presented before the court the same day.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also said that the reports were "wrong and baseless".

The chief justice said, "This incident is a gross violation of fundamental human rights", adding that the Supreme Court has already given directions against the jirga system.

The police had registered an FIR against two brothers, Bin Yasir and Gul Nazar, for allegedly making the film and uploading it on a video-sharing site.

An elder brother of the accused men, Muhammad Afzal, said the women were called back from their in-laws and locked in a room. He added that their family members subjected the women to severe torture.

Afzal also said that the jirga sent over 30 men to kill of his brothers.


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