Kohistan video murders: Three guilty in ‘honour killing’ blood feud


Three men have been given life sentences in connection with one of Pakistan’s most notorious “honour killing” cases. Named as Omar Khan, Sabeer and Saheer, they are related to three women killed after being filmed singing and clapping at a wedding in 2011.

Their bodies were never found. Two men they were with are still in hiding. The fates of another two women are unknown. The killings sparked a blood feud which left another four dead. Five other men were acquitted by the court in Besham, in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The exact details of what took place are not entirely clear.

A video emerged in 2011 which appeared to show a group of women – named as Bazeegha, Sereen Jan, Begum Jan and Amina – at a wedding, singing and clapping. A fifth woman – Shaheen, who was under 18 – is also thought to have been present.

It also showed a man dancing – although they were never in the same shot together. A second man is said to have been filming. It was enough, in the remote northern Kohistan district where matters of family honour are settled in blood, to warrant at least three of the women’s deaths.

According to local custom, male family members of a woman suspected of an out-of-wedlock liaison – even of a seemingly innocuous nature – should first kill the woman, and then go after the man. The family of the man would not oppose this action, correspondents say. It meant everyone in the video – which was seen as “breaching the honour” of the women’s family – was in danger.(BBC)…[+]