Teenage girl ‘executed by own family for dancing with boy in viral video’
A tribal council known as a jirga – which settles disputes according to centuries-old traditions – is said to have ordered the killing.
A teenage girl was allegedly executed by her own family after village elders sentenced her to death for dancing with a boy in a viral social media video.
An investigation has been launched into the apparent ‘honour killing’, which happened on Sunday in the village of Barsharyal, located in the Kolai-Palas district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region in Pakistan.
A tribal council of elders known as a jirga – which settles disputes according to centuries-old traditions – is said to have ordered the girl, believed to be 18, to be killed.
A second girl who appeared in the video was also sentenced to death but has been rescued by police and reunited with her family.
Masood Khan, deputy superintendent of police in the Kolai-Palas district, said: ‘Some people had uploaded pictures of the two girls.
‘They shot dead one of them while police rescued the second one.
‘We have launched an investigation to trace those who killed the girl and who either advised or convened a jirga and sentenced her to death.’
Raids are taking place to find and arrest jirga members, Mr Khan said – adding no one was above the law and anyone involved would be brought to justice.
Male relatives of the girl who died are believed to involved, he added.
The caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Syed Irshad Hussain Shah, said he had ordered police to arrest those responsible.
The boys seen in the footage, which is reported to have been doctored, have gone into hiding amid fears of reprisals.
Public images of women are considered taboo in the area, Mr Khan said.
Human rights activist Dr Farzana Bari, told Geo.tv of her fears for the safety of the second girl, who she believes will probably be ‘murdered sooner or later’.
‘She has probably been misguided by her family.
‘Knowing the mindset that exists in the area, I think this girl would be killed.’
She questioned why one girl was killed while the other girl’s life was spared – adding that she has ‘no faith in the system’.
Such killings often happen as a result of perceived offences such as elopement, fraternising with men outside marriage or other breaches of religious and cultural values on female modesty – despite campaigns by human rights groups and tighter laws.
Two sisters were reportedly killed last year by relatives in the eastern city of Gujarat, Pakistan, because they did not want to stay married to their cousins, who they were forced to wed.
Last year, an appeal court acquitted the brother of social media star, Qandeel Baloch of her murder in 2016.
The death of Baloch – real name Fauzia Azeem – in the city of Multan, Punjab – sparked international outrage and changes in laws covering honour killings.
In the UK, a man was jailed for life earlier this year for murdering his niece at her home Bradford after she refused to go along with an arranged marriage.
Somaiya Begum, 20, was subjected to a ‘traumatic’ attack with a metal spike before her body was dumped on wasteland ‘like rubbish’ and discovered 11 days later.
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