Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Honour" Killing: Buried Alive - Part V

The World's Response

Well - as I mentioned, this atrocious act has made headlines worldwide. Here is a snippet of what's being said.

From Boston.com:
"The women, three of whom were teenagers, were shot, thrown into a ditch and buried alive more than a month ago in what authorities have said they suspect were "honor killings." Authorities say they have arrested three relatives of the women in connection with their deaths.

It is considered an insult in some conservative regions of Pakistan for women to have affairs or marry without consent, and rights groups say hundreds are killed by male relatives every year.

The killings -- which apparently occurred after the women defied tribal elders and asked a civil court to marry at least three of them -- was raised in Parliament on Friday.

Human rights groups say the women were abducted at gunpoint by six men in the remote village of Baba Kot, forced into a vehicle and taken to a field, where they were beaten and shot. Rights activists say they were then covered with rocks and mud while they were still breathing.

The deaths took so long to investigate, rights groups allege, because members of a powerful political family in the province were involved."

From The Star Tribune:
"Pakistan opened an investigation Monday into the killings of five women who tried to choose their own husbands, after a provincial lawmaker defended their deaths as a "centuries-old tradition."

It is considered an insult in some conservative regions of Pakistan for women to have affairs or marry without consent, and rights groups say hundreds are killed by male relatives every year.

The highest court in the largely tribal region ordered an inquiry Monday as Parliament demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice. Asif Warraich, Baluchistan's police chief, announced the same day that three suspects were arrested, adding they were related to the victims and had allegedly confessed.

About 60 activists demonstrated outside the federal Parliament in Islamabad on Monday."

From Ottawa Citizen:
"The killings have produced shock and outrage even in a country inured to the murder of women by male relatives in the name of family honour in conservative, rural areas where tribal traditions hold sway.

The women were killed in Babakot village, 320 km east of Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan, in July.

Rights groups say the perpetrators are connected to a powerful political family and have managed to block a police investigation.

The government's top Interior Ministry official, Rehman Malik, said he had ordered an inquiry headed by a top police officer and he wanted a report within a week.

"We want facts," Malik said. "This isn't a European society. We're a different society but violence against women can't be tolerated either in the name of culture or religion," he said.

Later, a senior police officer in the area said they had arrested five relatives of the women on suspicion of being involved in the killings."

From the Taipei Times:
"Three teenage girls were buried alive by their tribe in a remote part of Pakistan to punish them for attempting to choose their own husbands, in an “honor” killing case.

After news of the deaths emerged, male politicians from Balochistan Province defended the killings in parliament, claiming the practice was part of “our tribal custom.”

The girls, thought to have been aged between 16 and 18, were kidnapped by a group of men from their Umrani tribe.

They were driven to a rural area and then injured by being shot. Then, while still alive, they were dragged bleeding to a pit, where they were covered with earth and stones, Human Rights Watch said. Officials, speaking off the record, confirmed the killings.

However, six weeks after the deaths, no one has been arrested, amid claims of a cover-up. According to several accounts, Balochistan government vehicles were used to abduct the girls and the killing was overseen by a tribal chief who is the brother of a provincial minister from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.

Some reports said that two older relatives of the girls tried to intervene but they too were shot and buried with them while still alive."

Here are some other reports on the incident:
~~~ BBC News ~~~ Belfast Telegraph ~~~ NZ Herald ~~~ The Guardian ~~~ The Taipei Times ~~~ Globe & Mail ~~~ Irish Times ~~~ The Daily Mail ~~~ The Sydney Morning Herald ~~~ Dawn ~~~ Independent Online ~~~ Dawn ~~~ MSNBC ~~~ Dawn ~~~ The Independent ~~~ The State ~~~ The International Herald Tribune ~~~ Philly.com ~~~

This story will be followed closely to see if anything is actually done to bring justice to the perpetrators of this horrific crime.

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