Friday, September 5, 2008
Five Pakistani women were buried alive by their tribe in a mass honor killing prompted by their wish to choose their own husbands
The victims, who included three teenagers, were abducted at gunpoint, beaten and shot before being thrown into a ditch. They were still breathing as their bodies were covered with rocks and mud, according to media reports and human rights activists. The incident occurred in Baba Kot, a remote village in Jafferabad district, after the women decided to defy tribal elders and arrange marriages in a civil court, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission. They were said to have been abducted at gunpoint by six men, forced into a vehicle and taken to a remote field, where they were beaten, shot and then buried alive, it said, accusing local authorities of trying to hush up the killings. A Pakistani lawmaker provoked outrage by defending men from the Baluch tribe who had carried out the killings. Israr Ullah Zehri told stunned members of Pakistan's parliament: 'These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them. Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.' He claimed the tribal traditions helped stop obscenity - and then asked fellow lawmakers not to make a big fuss about it.