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Five women ‘killed by tribal elders for dancing and singing with men at wedding party in remote Pakistani village’

07/06/2012

* Women condemned to death for fornication and staining their families’ names
* Local officials say the women are alive but refuse to present them to the Supreme Court
* Two men managed to flee north Pakistan village and inform authorities of the deaths

Their actions were said to have brought shame on the community, which frowns on men and women dancing together or fraternising at all.

But local police say the footage does not show the men and women in the same room together. Three teams of police have visited the area, which is two days’ walk from the nearest road, while local government officials have denied the claims, saying the women are alive.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has asked for the women to be produced before them in the capital, Islamabad, but it was told the weather was too bad for them to make the 100-mile journey.

The chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province where the incident is said to have happened, argued that local laws did not allow women to travel in male company or face questions from a male judge.

But a judge told him either to get a helicopter or troops to ensure the women were alive and said that if he refused, the judges would go to Kohistan themselves.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said at least 943 women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honour. The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.
—Read full story here.

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