Pakistan Squirms Over Public Flogging

Video shows woman being beaten in militant-controlled area
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 1:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – Authorities in Pakistan today ordered an investigation into a video showing a 17-year-old woman, accused of having sex, being publicly flogged in the country’s Swat Valley. The two-minute video, widely aired on local television today, shows a man whipping a woman lying face down on the ground, pinned by two other men, one of whom is her brother, the Guardian reports. The woman is screaming, begging for mercy, and struggling to evade their grasp.

The northwestern region was recently put under Islamic law as a tactic to end a Taliban insurrection, sparking criticisms that hardliners would violate basic human rights, particularly for women. The video may have been shot before the switch to Islamic law became official, the AP reports. One senior ruling party member called for the men who participated in the flogging to be punished, saying they had “crossed a red line,” and violated Pakistan’s constitution. “They want to enforce a Taliban-style system in the area, and we will not let it happen.”