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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Couple was believed to be cheating on spouses

Six men have been arrested in connection with the stoning death of a Pakistani couple. The incident occurred in a remote area of Pakistan's western Baluchistan province. The man and women, both married to other people, were believed to be in their thirties, Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister for Baluchistan said.

Women's rights group The Aurat Foundation says it tracks around 1,000 cases of honor killings annually just from media reports. The true figure is probably much higher.

Women's rights group The Aurat Foundation says it tracks around 1,000 cases of honor killings annually just from media reports. The true figure is probably much higher.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Pakistan, aldultery, stoning, arrests, remote villages


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The woman's father and brother, and the man's uncle and father are among those arrested. A cleric, believed to have issued the order to kill them this past weekend is also in custody. Another man linked to the cleric is also being held.

"It is a shameful act and the people involved in stoning the man and the woman will be brought to justice," Bugti says.

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The woman's body would be exhumed for forensic examination this week, Bugti said. Authorities were still searching for the man's grave.

The local police chief in the couple's home village of Loralai will be dismissed for not taking action when the killings occurred.

Gatherings of tribal elders, often referred to as jirgas, issue death sentences for couples or women deemed to have offended the conservative culture. While killings are illegal in Pakistan, but the police force is weak and often ignores them.

If the case is brought to court, proceedings can take years to be heard and the national conviction rate hovers between five to 10 percent. The victim's family can forgive the killers if they are convicted, which is a major loophole, since the killers often are the victim's family.

Women's rights group The Aurat Foundation says it tracks around 1,000 cases of honor killings annually just from media reports. The true figure is probably much higher.

No one tracks the number of attempted or successful prosecutions.

In one horrific case, five women were allegedly killed in 2012 in remote Kohistan after they were videotaped singing and clapping softly to music with two men present.

The activist Supreme Court, which has championed human rights cases over the past five years, intervened in what was widely seen as a test case for women's rights.

A bungled investigation that ignored vital forensic evidence concluded that the women were alive. A lower court judge has taken up the case again after the women's alleged killers were convicted of three more murders.

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