Pakistan’s top judge has called, on Friday 04/03/2009, for a court hearing into the public flogging of a teenage girl, which was captured on video and shown around the world.

The film shows apparent Taliban members holding her down and hitting her with a strap as she cries out in pain. According local sources the girl had been accused of illicit relations with a man and that the flogging took place about a month and a half ago. The burka-clad woman is heard crying throughout the two-minute flogging and at one point swears on her father that she will not do it again. The Taliban made the girl’s brother hold her down during the flogging.

Just recently the Pakistani government agreed to implement Shariaa law as part of a peace deal with militants there. The incident happened just weeks before the new Shariaa courts began to be introduced in Swat (see – Swat Truce II).

Relatives of the man involved in the incident told the BBC he had gone to the house of the girl in the village of Kala Kalay to do repairs as an electrician, but militants accused him of having a relationship with her. They dragged him from the house and flogged him before punishing the girl, his relatives said to BBC.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has ordered police and government officials from NWFP Swat District to bring the girl to court next week.

Prime Minister Gilani said he strongly condemned the “shameful” incident in a statement issued by his office.  Mr Gilani said it was contrary to Islamic principles, which teach Muslims to treat women politely and gently.


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