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Two Pakistani teenage girls killed in cold blood - for dancing

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Honor killings, crimes against women and girls are usually brought on by outraged relatives who say their families have been dishonored by - or implied by infidelity and fornication, are common in rural areas in the Muslim world. Two teenage sisters in Pakistan have now been killed by their step-brother - for daring to smile and dance in the rain.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Aged 15 and 16, Noor Basra and Noor Sheza are seen running around in traditional dress with two other younger children outside their bungalow in the town of Chilas, in the northern region of Gilgit. The two break into dance and one even flash a smile at the camera.

When the footage was circulated via mobile phones, it caused outrage in the conservative Pakistani town - and the girls were later shot alongside their mother in their home by five gunmen.

Police are investigating whether the attack was arranged by the girls' step-brother, Khutore, who allegedly wanted to "restore the family's honor." The sisters' other brother has filed a case against Khutore and the four other alleged accomplices.

Four women are believed to have been killed last year by tribal elders for dancing and singing with men at a wedding party in the remote north-western village of Kohistan in Pakistan.

A tribal council of clerics, known as a "Jirga" reportedly condemned the women to death for "fornication" and staining their families' names.

The community frowns on men and women dancing together or fraternizing at all.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports that at least 943 women and girls were murdered in 2011 for allegedly defaming their family's honor.

The Aurat Foundation, a women's rights group, about 1,000 "honor" killings take place in Pakistan every year, highlighting the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.

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