Two teenage Pakistani sisters were shot and killed after they were accused of dishonoring their family’s name by recording themselves dancing in the rain.
Noor Basra, 15, her 16-year-old sister Noor Sheza, and two other younger children were dressed in traditional clothing as they danced outside their bungalow in Chilas, in the northern region of Gilgit. The sisters smile at the camera as they play and dance on their lawn. The video was taken six months ago, and footage began circulating in the conservative Pakistani town about for months later.
The sisters and their mother, Noshehra, were shot in their home by five gunmen last Sunday.
Police believe the murders may have been arranged by the girls’ stepbrother, Khutore, who wanted to “restore the family’s honor.” The sisters’ other brother has filed a case against Khutore and his alleged accomplices. Khutore fled after police tried to get in touch with him, but the four accomplices confessed to the murder, according to Dawn.com.
Honor killings are not uncommon in certain parts of the world. In May, three Egyptian women were beaten and strangled to death by ten male relatives who believed they had had affairs. The bodies of the three women — a mother and her two daughters — were wrapped in blankets, tied with weights, and thrown in the Nile River. Five of the ten men were arrested.
In November 2012, a teenage Pakistani girl identified as “Anusha” was killed for “eyeing” a boy in a village in the southern district of Kotli. Anusha’s mother, Zaheen, said that she and her husband, Muhammad Zafar, quickly decided to douse the 15-year-old in acid, even after she promised not to look at the boy again.
“She said ‘I didn’t do it on purpose. I won’t look again,’” Zaheen said. “By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way.” Anusha was taken to the hospital the following morning, where she died.
The United Nations estimates that about 5,000 honor killings are committed each year, but women’s groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia believe this number is closer to 20,000.
What do you think of Noor Basra and Noor Sheza being shot for dancing in the rain?