Pakistani sisters shot dead after being filmed dancing outside their home
Two teenage sisters have been shot dead for daring to film themselves dancing in
the rain and "dishonouring" their family and men in their conservative village.
Noon Basra and Noor Sheza, from Pakistan, were murdered after mobile footage of the
girls emerged, outraging their town.
In the footage the sisters, aged 15 and 16, are dressed in traditional clothing and
are pictured along with two other younger children in the town of Chilas, in the northern
region of Gilgit, News24Online reported.
The girls dance and one of the sisters even smiles for the camera.
But their seemingly innocent crime earned them a death sentence after the footage caused
outrage in the conservative town and they were shot dead, alongside their mother, by five gunmen.
Police confirmed they arrested the girls' stepbrother, known only as Khutore, over the murder and
are hunting for four other men in what they believe to be an honour killing.
"It seems that the two girls have been murdered after they were accused of tarnishing their family's
name by making a video of themselves dancing in the rain," a police officer told News24Online.
The girls' other brother raised the case against Khutore and the four other men to authorities.
Human rights activist Atiya Jehan said the video became "a big issue" after elders in the town
"raised objections on the character of these girls".
It's not the first time Pakistan has made international headlines for crimes against women.
Gang-rape victim Kainat Soomro was condemned to death after being assaulted by four men at the age of 13.
Elders in the rural village of Dadu in southern Pakistan ordered that her own family kill her since her ordeal was
considered a token of disgrace.
A documentary was made about her plight and four years later she is still fighting for justice.
While exact figures on honour killings in the country are hard to attain, Amnesty International Australia
spokeswoman Karen Trentini said the figure went into the hundreds with many more cases going unreported.
She said violence against women and girls remained prevalent across Pakistan, adding that the criminal
justice system continued to fail to investigate and punish such abuses against women, including so-called "honour" crimes.
"Every year hundreds of women are known to die as a result of honour killings. Many more cases go unreported and almost all
go unpunished," she told news.com.au
Ms Trentini said reports showed that police almost always took the man's side in honour killings or domestic murders,
and rarely prosecuted the killers.
In cases when they were convicted the judiciary ensured they were given a light sentence "reinforcing the
view that men can kill", she said.
According to the human right's organisation the sisters' case is not an isolated incident.
In its annual report on the state of human rights abuses worldwide, it found women and girls campaigning for
their rights faced discrimination and violence at home and in public.
In May last year, local tribal elders reportedly ordered the killing of four women for singing and clapping
allegedly in the company of two men, at a wedding in Kohistan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The Supreme Court ordered an investigation into the incident the following month and concluded that the women were probably alive.
But Amnesty said its investigation appeared to be significantly flawed.
In July, women's human rights activist Fareeda Afridi was killed in a drive-by
shooting as she left her home in Peshawar for work in the Khyber Tribal Agency.
Local civil society groups said she had been targeted for promoting the human rights of women.
Her killers have not yet been brought to justice.
And in October last year, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for attempting to assassinate
15-year-old Malala Yousafzai over her work on promoting education for women and girls.