An 18-year-old girl was allegedly killed by her own family after being sentenced to death by village elders for dancing with a boy in a viral social media video in Pakistan
The killing on Sunday, in the village of Barsharyal in Pakistan’s mountainous Kohistan region, is being investigated by Pakistani police as a potential honour killing.
A friend, who also appeared in the apparently edited viral footage, was sentenced to death as well but was rescued by police before it could be carried out.
Masood Khan, deputy superintendent of police in the Kolai-Palas district, said:
‘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 (the village elders) and sentenced her to death.’
He added that nobody was above the law and all those involved in the brutal killing would be brought to justice at any cost.
The second girl, who was rescued by the police due to the expected threats to her life, was returned home with her father soon after, as a senior civil judge ruled that her life was not in any danger.
The boys who appeared in the videos have also gone into hiding, fearing reprisals.
As per local tradition, the jirga had declared those who appeared in the images circulating on social media as ‘chor’ (thieves) and issued a decree for their killing.
Every year, hundreds of women in Muslim Pakistan are victims of honour killings, carried out by relatives professing to be acting in defence of a family’s honour often in deeply conservative rural areas, say human rights groups.
Dr Farzana Bari, a human rights activist told Geo.tv of her concern for the safety of the second girl.
The investigation is ongoing and so far no arrests have been made.