Pakistani teen who was flogged denies incident, probe ordered

April 6th, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 6 (IANS) The girl who was reportedly whipped by the Taliban in Pakistan’s restive Swat Valley has denied the incident as the Supreme Court Monday ordered that a probe be carried out.
The girl’s statement before a magistrate was presented through Attorney General Latif Khosa. “The girl has denied the alleged flogging incident,” Geo TV reported.

The victim was not present during the hearing.

Senior officials, including interior secretary and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) inspector general of police, appeared before the eight-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, which is hearing the Swat lashing case.

Chaudhry said that “investigations be conducted” into the incident.

The dangers of imposing Sharia laws in Pakistan’s restive Swat Valley were brought into sharp focus Friday with the airing of a two-minute video showing the 17-year-old screaming, burqa-clad girl being whipped by Taliban fighters for coming “out of her house with another guy who was not her husband”.

The grainy video, shot on a mobile phone, showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whipped her repeatedly, London’s Guardian newspaper reported.

The newspaper said it received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker.

After 34 lashes the punishment stopped and the wailing girl was led into a stone building.

The NWFP government ceded authority to the Taliban under a peace deal, giving the militants a free hand to impose their puritan Islamic rule on the around 600,000 people of Swat and its neighbouring districts.

The peace accord signed with pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Sufi Mohammad includes measures to establish Islamic courts, a ban on music, expulsion of prostitutes and pimps from the area, closure of businesses during prayer times, and a campaign against what they call obscenity.

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