A 16-year-old in Pakistan teen has been murdered for helping a couple that was in love.
A 16-year-old in Pakistan teenage girl has been murdered for helping a couple that was in love.
Pakistani police announced Thursday that the elders of a rural village in Makol had burned the teen to death after she helped a couple elope, NBC News reports.
International media reports the punishment was apparently aimed at discouraging other couples from getting married without their parents' permission.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Saeed Khan Wazir said 15 members of a village jirga (a local tribal council), along with the teen's mother, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the girl's death.
The group is facing trial in an anti-terrorism court, according to NBC News.
In his statement to the outlet, Wazir said that the jirga "decided to punish the girl in a novel way, so no one in future can dare to marry without consent of their parents and give a bad name to the village."
It has been reported the girl was burnt to death in a van.
The group of men, described as a jirga or local tribal council by police, detained the girl, her mother, and her brother, according to police chief Saeed Wazir.
The latter two allegedly consented to the punishment: burning the girl, named in some reports as Ambreen or Haleema, in the van used by the couple to elope.
Abdullah Khan, managing director at the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, wrote a public Facebook post about the girl's death, noting that he was from the same village.
He said the girls body was tied to a back seat of a van that was set ablaze.
He wrote that the village Makol is famous for enmity and killings in rivalry.
“ However, such brutality was never scene [sic]. This is for the first time that I reluctantly associate myself with my own village. The incident happened just about hundred meters from my home,” he wrote.
He said he tweeted about the dead girl and it went viral.
He found out the girl was a student and daughter of a poor laborer, he wrote she was not “mentally fully fit”.
He wrote that the girl was suspected to have helped two young people marry who belong to different clans.
“They [the group who killed her] had suspicion on Ambreen as she was a friend of Saima. Some of them went to Ambreen’s house and told her mother to send him with them otherwise they will kill her only remaining son.”
“Police and everybody was clueless [about] why she was burnt. Killing was enough if someone wanted to shut her up. It looked like kidnapping for rape and then killing to remain undetected.”
Khan said police wound up questioning the mother, whose behavior after the murder was suspicious.
Police say the girl’s mother and brother assented to the brutal punishment, while Khan says she was forced to give up her daughter, not knowing that she would be killed, to members of the eloped friend’s clan.
Saroop Ijaz, a lawyer who works with Human Rights Watch in Pakistan, told the Daily Beast such killings were frequently “a means to assert dominance.” Often, women are sentenced to death by their own family members, and other family members forgive the murderers.
“The state has to criminalize it, but also it has to be viewed as a serious, heinous crime by the population at large,” he said.