Five women 'killed by tribal elders for dancing and singing with men at wedding party in remote Pakistani village'
Women condemned to death for fornication and staining their families' names
Local officials say the women are alive but refuse to present them to the Supreme Court
Two men managed to flee north Pakistan village and inform authorities of the deaths
By Mail Foreign Service
PUBLISHED: 10:29 EST, 6 June 2012 | UPDATED: 01:51 EST, 7 June 2012
As wedding scenes go, it is a rather sedate affair.
But four women who joined in the celebrations are thought to have paid with their lives.
They are feared to have been the victims of honour killings after dancing with men.
Scroll down to see the video footage
Four of the five women believed dead after tribal elders condemned them to death for dancing and singing
In scenes from the wedding, they are pictured in heavy robes and headdresses, sitting on the floor while singing and clapping.
Two men were apparently dancing next to them, while out of shot another person captures the moment on a mobile phone video camera.
Soon afterwards, the women were said to have been shot or had their throats cut for breaking local customs that prevent them from dancing with the opposite sex.
Another woman, said to have been 'an accomplice', was also allegedly executed. Last night officials in Pakistan were travelling to the remote north-western village of Kohistan to investigate the claims.
A tribal council of clerics – known as a Jirga – reportedly condemned the women to death for 'fornication' and staining their families' names.
Their actions were said to have brought shame on the community, which frowns on men and women dancing together or fraternising at all.
Two men were also condemned to death for dancing with the women but they escaped and told a judge the women had already been killed
But local police say the footage does not show the men and women in the same room together. Three teams of police have visited the area, which is two days' walk from the nearest road, while local government officials have denied the claims, saying the women are alive.
The two men dancing in the video, named as brothers Bin Yasir and Gul Nazar, appeared in court yesterday charged with creating conditions for tribal violence.
Pakistan's Supreme Court has asked for the women to be produced before them in the capital, Islamabad, but it was told the weather was too bad for them to make the 100-mile journey.
The chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province where the incident is said to have happened, argued that local laws did not allow women to travel in male company or face questions from a male judge.
The fifth woman to have been executed is believed to be the sister of one of those in a video taken of the dancing
Five Pakistani women killed for dancing and clapping at wedding
But a judge told him either to get a helicopter or troops to ensure the women were alive and said that if he refused, the judges would go to Kohistan themselves.
Mr Yasir and Mr Nazar told Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaurdhy that the women had been slaughtered.
Their brother Afzal Khan said up to 50 people had been sent by the Jirga to kill the women.
Outside court, he added: 'All the five girls – Bazgar, Amna, Shaheen, Begum and one more – [have] been killed by the Jirga on May 30. I have four witnesses of the killing.'
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said at least 943 women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family's honour.
The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.