Accaused Kohistani women maybe Dead for Clapping

ISLAMABAD: The Kohistani women who were sentenced to death by a Jirga for clapping during a marriage ceremony are likely to be produced before the Supreme Court of Pakistan today (Thursday).

During Wednesday’s hearing the two men who were also condemned by the same group of tribal elders for dancing and singing at wedding party told the Supreme Court that the five co-accused Kohistani women were already dead.

Meanwhile, the police informed the court on Wednesday that the girls were alive and would be produced before the court today (Thursday).

A Jirga in the village of Palas, Kohistan, had convicted six people for clapping and singing after a videotape of them was circulated. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry, heard a suo moto case regarding the video scandal and death decree issued to six people by some clerics of Kohistan.

Four girls and two men were allegedly caught on video singing and dancing together at a wedding party in defiance of tribal customs in Kohistan.

According to the Hazara commissioner, the helicopter sent for the girls could not land in their village due to bad weather. Earlier, the chief secretary of the province had told the Supreme Court that the girls were alive, and a helicopter had been sent to produce them before the court. The court had adjourned the hearing till 6:00pm on Wednesday and ordered that the girls be produced then.

The two accused men, Bin Yasir and Gul Nazar, were produced before the court and claimed that five girls, four of whom were visible in the video, had already been killed on the orders of the Jirga. However, the local police and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government continue to deny that the incident took place.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik appeared before the bench and assured it his assistance in the case.

Later, talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, the brother of the two accused men, Afzal Khan, said he could swear that the five women had been killed on May 30 on the orders of tribal elders while he, along with his brothers, would also be murdered.

Afzal Khan said that the police couldn’t be trusted, as they had received threats from the DIG and commissioner of Hazara Division. Geo.tv

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