5 Girls Allegedly Killed for Clapping, Singing

Pakistan court orders investigation into alleged honor killings
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2016 4:49 PM CST

The video shot in the remote Kohistan area of Pakistan and posted online in 2010 shows five girls clapping along to music while a boy dances nearby. Innocent as it may seem, authorities are now investigating anew whether it led to the murder of all those in the video for the high crime of mingling with members of the opposite sex, reports the Washington Post. They think a tribal court deemed the gathering a penalty worthy of death, and villagers—perhaps even the youths' own families—then meted out the sentences. The older brother of the young man pictured petitioned the Supreme Court for help, and while the court dismissed his case in 2012, it ordered a new investigation last month. "I know I will probably be killed, too, but it doesn't matter," says 26-year-old Afzal Kohistani. "What happened is wrong, and it has to change."

The families and village elders insist that nobody was killed over the video. But when investigators returned to the village last month with the girls' thumbprints and birth dates, they were presented with females too young to be the ones in the video, according to a judge's report. One girl's thumbs had been disfigured so that her thumbprints were useless; her parents said she'd had a cooking accident. Families of two said the girls were living far away and unable to return home to meet with investigators, reports the Express Tribune. "All this leads to the suspicious conclusion that something is wrong at bottom," the judge wrote. He recommended an "exhaustive inquiry." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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