South Asia

Pakistani woman villager is forced to 'parade naked'

Women in Pakistan
Image caption The incident is rare in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - one of Pakistan's most conservative provinces

Police in Pakistan say they have arrested two men for stripping a woman naked and parading her in a village.

One of the offenders had accused the woman's son of having illicit relations with his wife, the police said.

Public dishonouring of women is not uncommon in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia, but the incident is rare in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Police said villagers where the incident took place did not try to stop it because the offenders were armed.

Haripur district police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur told the BBC that a resident of Nilor Bala village had complained to village elders that two men had had sexual relations with his wife.

According to the police, a village council advised the complainant to divorce his wife.

Instead, he and four armed men stormed the house belonging to the mother of one of the men alleged to have slept with his wife in order to kill her son.

Because the son was not there, the men dragged the mother out, stripped her and made her walk through the village, the police said.

They have now registered a case against seven people, but only two have been arrested so far. They say they are looking for other offenders.

Campaigners say achieving justice for women who are abused in Pakistan is difficult.

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped by members of a tribe in the village of Meerwala in Punjab province after her brother was accused of having sexual relations with a local woman.

Ms Mai launched legal proceedings against the alleged offenders. Six men were convicted but five were acquitted on appeal by the Pakistani Supreme Court in April.

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