Monday, September 8, 2008

Married at 9, Slain by Parents at 17

~ The following article is from The Australian, written by Bruce Louden. I saw this article through and was astounded. It bears to mention that this is exactly why women in our very country need to be grateful for how progressive our nation is. I can't imagine having been subjected to an arranged marriage, let alone at 9, let alone murdered by my parents for wanting out of the marriage they set me up with, with a 45 year old man. This poor child!!!!!
DESPAIR among human rights workers in Pakistan over a rash of so-called "honour killings" intensified yesterday when it was disclosed that a girl forced into marriage with a 45-year-old man at the age of nine had been killed by her parents because she asked for an annulment.
The girl, 17, who had been fighting a lonely but successful legal battle, was coming out of court in the Punjabi city of Sahiwal after being granted the annulment by a judge when she was surrounded by a group of men and shot in view of police.
The death of Saira Nusrat Bibi has added further to concerns among human rights campaigners already outraged over the case of five women - among them three teenage schoolgirls - buried alive in the province of Baluchistan because they wanted to marry men of their choice in defiance of the wishes of tribal leaders.
The Baluchistan case was worsened by an attempt by a member of the country's national parliament, senator Israr Ullah Zehri, to defend it, telling colleagues that "these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them", The Weekend Australian reports.
Members of the religious Jamaat-e-Islami party rounded on Senator Zehi, declaring: "We condemn this barbaric act. This is against Islam, against humanity and against civilised culture."
Yesterday, the Government bowed to pressure and ordered an inquiry into the killings.
Details that have emerged from the village of Baba Kot in Baluchistan indicate that the three girls -- aged between 16 and 18 - and two of their elderly relatives were "shot at" before being buried alive."When the fuming elders of the Umrani tribe came to know about the intentions of these girls, they picked them up from their homes along with two of their elderly relatives," one account said.
"The crying girls were pushed into official cars and driven to a deserted area. There they were pushed out of the cars, made to stand in a queue, and volleys of shots fired at them. As the bleeding girls fell to the sand, the tribesmen dragged them into a nearby ditch and levelled it with earth and stones.
"As the two shocked elderly women tried to rescue the hapless girls, they too were gunned down and buried in the same manner. The killers after burying these women returned to their tribe like conquerors without any action taken against them."

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