|Martin Barillas||September 2nd 2008|
Cutting Edge Senior Contributor
Honor killings and tortures against women and girls who stray from accepted norma are common in Pakistan. But the latest cases have echoed throughout the national Pakistani media and indeed through the halls of the local legislature.
On September 1, Pakistani police ordered the bodies of two women to be exhumed in the village of Babakot, in the province of Balochistan. They have ordered an autopsy to clarify the circumstances leading to the women’s death who are believed to have been “shot and then buried alive together with three other girls” for what seems to have been a “crime of honor” following “tribal” law, according to a report by Asia News.
The police of the district also arrested seven suspects who are accused of ordering or carrying out the brutal multiple murder, including the father, brother, and a cousin of the slain girls.
The incident apparently occurred July 13, when three girls were killed for marrying without the consent of family members and village elders; the other two women met the same fate for “associating” with young men. The incident has provoked reaction from human rights activists, who have organized protest demonstrations in Lahore and Islamabad, calling for an end to “tribal practices that in the name of the code of honor” perpetrate violence and abuse toward women.
The case of the women buried alive came to the attention of the media in Pakistan on August 29, following statements by Sardar Israrullah Zehri, a senator from Balochistan, who defended the practice because it belongs to “our tribal customs”. Human rights associations reacted strongly, condemning the senator’s words and calling for his immediate resignation. Read more ..