Where: Islamabad, Pakistan
April 3, 2009 : The Taliban authorised the brutal public flogging of a 17-year-old girl by four men in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The incident was recorded and broadcast over the internet. Shock and disbelief shook many sections of the Pakistani population. The video opened up the question of religion-backed violence against women in the country. It raised serious doubts about the wisdom of the Pakistan government’s peace deal with the Taliban. The government had agreed to the imposition of ‘Sharia’ or Islamic law in the Swat valley, which is under Taliban control. The video was shot by ‘spectators’ who were encouraged to record the event on their phone cameras by Taliban members.
The event apparently occurred sometime mid-March. The girl had “flouted the law”, as she was seen outside her house unaccompanied by a male family member. When angry reactions to the video came in, the charge was changed to a more serious offence. Pakistan’s recently reinstated Chief Justice took suo moto* notice of the video and a case has been registered in the court. The Taliban’s latest line is that the video was a fake, and was circulated to discredit the organisation.
*This means the court can act on its own, on the basis of its knowledge, without anyone appealing to it.
Related Links – If you want to know more about Pakistan:
Pakistan: Where is it? Click here to see it on the map
Pakistan: Country profile
Pakistan: Latest news about Pakistan
Pakistan: Images from Pakistan
Pakistan: More about Pakistan