Pakistani women, reacting to the public flogging of a seventeen year old girl in the Swat valley protested in Lahore, on April 4.
On April 6, Pakistan’s top judge ordered a court hearing into the public flogging of the girl, filmed on an a cell phone. See: FRONTLINE: Where women are flogged… | PBS
The recently restored chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, summoned senior government officials before a special eight-judge bench in response to public outrage over the video, which shows a bearded militant whipping the screaming girl 34 times.
Chaand Bibi the girl at the center of the controversy did not appear in court, although ordered to do so and has denied being the burqa clad figure in the video. The Taliban control the area where she lives and claim that it is their right to thrash women, so her denial is understandable.
Meanwhile, the man who filmed the Taliban flogging has said that the treatment meted out to the girl was actually a “punishment” for her refusing a marriage proposal from a militant. This is consistant with reports coming out of Swat that the Taliban have ordered families to declare in the mosques if they have unmarried daughters so that they can be married off to militants. Families who do not comply have been threatened with “dire consequences.”