A 16-year-old Pakistani girl was burnt alive on orders of a tribal council only because she helped a friend elope with a man she loved. Unlike, many previous incidents, which happen in faraway villages, this disgusting episode unfolded at a place located a two-hour drive from the capital – Islamabad.

The body of 17-year-old Ambreen Riasat was found in a torched van near a tourist resort in northwestern Pakistan on April 29. Police say the girl was strangled to death before her body was placed in the van and set alight.

Police said that 15 members of the council, locally known as Jirga, had been arrested.

The honor killing was ordered as punishment for what the council deemed irreparable damage to the village’s reputation. The couple appeared to have escaped.

The girl’s mother and brother were also arrested as they were present during the meeting and allegedly agreed to the sentence.

Jirgas are often called in Pakistan’s northwestern regions as a means of local conflict resolution, but their edicts have no legal standing under Pakistani law.

The girl’s mother told police her daughter had helped a couple from the nearby village of Makol elope, in defiance of cultural norms.

The incident created an uproar on social media and #Abbattobad (where her village is located) was among the top Twitter trends in Pakistan, however, it is unlikely things will change anytime soon.

More than 500 men and women were killed in honor killings in Pakistan last year, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Many of those crimes were carried out by relatives who say the victims brought shame on the family.

Sadly, this incident comes just two months after Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy won an Oscar for a short documentary, which highlights the issue of honor killings in Pakistan.

Sources: OpposingViews, Mirror

 

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