Four Women Sentenced to Death for Singing and Dancing in Pakistan

Pakistani women
Pakistani women a treated like animals

Four women, who were sentenced to death by Muslim clerics in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provnice for singing and dancing at a wedding have been killed, according to one of the relatives of the victims on Monday. A minister, however, denied the validity of these reports.

The jirga had declared the four women and two men as ‘fornicators’ after they were allegedly pictured a cell phone video 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.

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 his brothers. According to Afzal the four women have been killed.

There were, however, conflicting reports about the killings.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Social Welfare Sattar Ayaz told reporters that the women were not killed.

Malik said a judicial commission would probe the incident.

Tahir Rehman, an official sent to investigate the incident, said that he could not find the four women.

Taking suo motu notice of media reports of the killing of four women, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has summoned Chief Secretary of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, District Police Officer of Kohistan and Deputy Inspector General Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

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.

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

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

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 however have arrested the two brothers, Bin Yasir and Gul Nazar, for allegedly making the film and uploading it on a video-sharing site.