Pakistani couple stoned to death for adultery

Pakistani couple stoned to death for adultery

Pakistani couple stoned to death for adultery

Written by Staff Writer

18 Feb, 2014 | 12:31 pm

A couple were stoned to death for adultery in a remote area of Pakistan’s western Baluchistan province, an official said Monday, leading to six men being held on suspicion of murder.

The couple, both married to other people, were believed to be in their 30s, said Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister for Baluchistan.

The woman’s father and brother, and the man’s uncle and father have been arrested, along with a cleric believed to have issued the order to kill them at the weekend. Another man linked to the cleric is also being held.

“It is a shameful act and the people involved in stoning the man and the woman will be brought to justice,” said Bugti.

The woman’s body would be exhumed for forensic examination on Tuesday, Bugti said. Authorities were still searching for the man’s grave, he said.

Bugti said he ordered the local police chief in the couple’s home village of Loralai to be dismissed for not taking action when the killings occurred.

In many rural areas of Pakistan, gatherings of tribal elders, often referred to as jirgas, issue death sentences for couples or women deemed to have offended the conservative culture. Such killings are illegal in Pakistan, but the police force is weak and often ignores them.

Even if the cases are brought to court, they can take years to be heard and the national conviction rate hovers between 5 to 10 percent. If convicted, the victim’s family can forgive the killers – a major loophole, since the killers often are the victim’s family.

Reuters

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