Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission appalled by recent ‘honour killing’ in Mansehra

Honor killing. Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

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IBNS-CMEDIA: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday said it was appalled by the recent ‘honour’ killing of a young girl in Mansehra city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

She was murdered allegedly by members of her family after a video featuring her went viral on social media.

“The fact that the murder was sanctioned by a local jirga in Kohistan is a harrowing reminder that violence against women remains deeply accepted in Pakistan and that the state has failed to rein in antiquated means of so-called justice despite the Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling that jirga decisions are illegal and unconstitutional,” HRCP said in a statement.

“While the arrests of the perpetrator, suspected accomplices and three members of the jirga are welcome, the state must also ensure that concrete evidence is collected against the accused and that there is no provision for blood money in this case. Law enforcement personnel must also ensure the security of others featured in the video—a second girl who has returned to her family and several boys who have since gone into hiding,” the statement said.

“The chilling similarity of this incident to that of the jirga-sanctioned murder of eight young people who were filmed while singing and dancing at a wedding in Kohistan in 2011, is a reminder that Pakistan remains entrenched in a culture that ties notions of honour to women’s bodies. There too, the perpetrators’ convictions were eventually overturned and the whistleblower Afzal Kohistani himself gunned down in 2019. This must not be allowed to recur,” the statement said.

With at least 103 people killed for honour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone in 2022, the state must also take long-term, structural measures to address violence against women.