Honour killing in Pakistan: 18-year-old girl murdered by her father over viral dance video with boys
Shot dead: November 24, 2023
Residence: Kolai-Palas district in Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province
In the mountainous region of Kohistan, in northern Pakistan, an 18-year-old girl was shot dead at close range with multiple bullets by her father on Friday, November 24, 2023.
The murder took place in the family's home after photos and videos of the girl appeared on social media showing her dancing with boys. Some doubt the authenticity of the photos and videos and argue that the footage was doctored.
A jirga, a tribal body of village elders known for settling disputes through ancient traditions, allegedly ordered the execution of the girl and her friend, who was also in the controversial photo.
Police spokesman Masood Khan revealed that the jirga's orders led to the shooting of one girl, while police successfully rescued the second girl. Officers are actively conducting raids to arrest members of the jirga, including local clerics who issued the orders. Masood Khan emphasized that no one is above the law and anyone found guilty will face the consequences.
We know the story of Mehrab Gichki, the fugitive killer of journalist Shaheena Shaheen, who appears to be above the law and, according to agents, too powerful to arrest.
The acquittal of the brother of social media star Qandeel Baloch last year, despite the fact that her murder in 2016 led to international outrage and law changes, also shows that Pakistani authorities are struggling to deter honor-based violence.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), about 1,000 women are murdered annually by close relatives under the guise of preserving family honor.
What is an honour killing?
An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:
Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.