Pakistan cannibal brothers jailed for 12 years

Mohammad Arif Ali (left) in police custody, 14 April 2014 Image copyright Ikram Piracha
Image caption Mohammad Arif Ali was rearrested in April

Two brothers have each been sentenced to 12 years in jail over an act of cannibalism in Pakistan's Punjab province.

Mohammad Farman Ali and Mohammad Arif Ali were arrested in April amid a public outcry after the head of a child was found in their house.

They were found guilty of desecrating a grave, which is a criminal offence, and other charges.

Pakistan has no law against cannibalism.

The brothers had served two years in jail after being convicted of similar charges in 2011.

Sentencing in this latest case took place at an anti-terrorism court in Sargodha in Punjab. The brothers can appeal to the state's high court.

As well as desecrating the child's grave, the pair were convicted of spreading fear and damaging property, offences under Pakistan's anti-terrorism law.

The brothers were arrested on 14 April this year after the skull of a child was found in their house. They later admitted digging up the body of the child from a grave and making it into curry.

They were arrested for a similar offence in April 2011 and sentenced to two years in jail, and then released when their sentence ended in May last year.

Their release led to resentment among people in their native village of Khwawar Kalan, near the town of Darya Khan in Punjab's Bhakkar district.

After their release, the brothers led a low-key life and kept out of public sight.

But in April residents complained that the smell of rotting flesh was coming from their house. A subsequent police raid recovered the severed head of a two-year-old child who had died and been buried in a local graveyard.

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