Pakistan: Woman stoned to death for having a cell phone

When women are viewed essentially as commodities, as they are in Islamic law, this is the kind of thing that will happen. “PAKISTAN: A young woman stoned to death for having a cell phone after ruling by a Panchayat,” from the Asian Human Rights Commission, July 11 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Arifa, a mother of two, has been stoned to death on the orders of Panchayat (a tribal court) for possessing a cell phone. She was executed on 11 July in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province. The victim was stoned to death by her uncle and relatives on the orders of Panchayat after she was found to have a mobile phone.

According to media reports her uncle, cousins and other relatives threw stones and bricks at her until she died. She was buried without informing anyone. Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the Panchayat but no one has been arrested. She was buried in a desert far away from her village and nobody (not even her children) was allowed to participate in the funeral. Her husband is unknown.

Women are often victimized by these illegal judicial systems. This incident is a demonstration of the strong patriarchal society in Pakistan, and women are forced to remain in their clutches. Because of the absence of a proper criminal justice system, the powerful sections of society have complete impunity when they enforce their will.

The incident is a clear reflection of the total collapse of the rule of law in the country, where every section of the government has become utterly redundant in the face of tribal, feudal and religious traditions. The local police have not arrested the members of the Panchayat because the power in the area lies with the landed aristocracy.

Stoning to death is a barbaric act from a primitive society. Society is sent the message that violence is the way to deal with women and other vulnerable groups. Women’s rights are negated through the use of these forms of punishment.

Pakistani society has degenerated to the point that, for a woman, keeping a cell phone has become serious crime. It is treated as a worse crime than gang rape, murder and bomb blasts, through which many people are killed on a daily basis.

The Panchayat is an illegal judicial system run by feudal lords and tribal leaders. It is common in rural areas of Punjab, where landed aristocracy and centuries old tribal traditions rule. These practices are commonly used against women so that their tribal norms remain pure and intact. The Panchayat system is so powerful that the ‘independent judiciary’ still has not shown the courage to declare it illegal. The Pakistani judiciary, which got its independence after a people’s movement of two years, is much more involved in taking cases against elected government officials in order to keep its popularity in the media, while failing to introduce judicial reforms at the grassroots level, which has generated a society without any base on the rule of law.

What Arifa’s death shows us is the real system of justice in many parts of Pakistan. Local ruling is done by feudal bodies with complete impunity. There is no enforcement of the law by the judiciary, police or any other governing institution. It is more than the absence of the rule of law; it is an airless vacuum claiming many victims, in which the police — charged with the duty of enforcing the law – are hired thugs who torture and detain people at the request of powerful parties, please see the cases of two sisters, murdered in June 2013, 25 days apart, for daring to ask the courts for justice;

In Arifa’s case, it is those same corrupt police officers who are now being asked to investigate. Without serious intervention from government authorities, her case will be treated the same as far too many innocent deaths have been; uninvestigated, with complete impunity for the perpetrators.

The Panchayat, Jirga and other illegal ‘judicial systems’ can easily be used by grudge informers and powerful persons to obtain ‘death penalties’ to murder whomsoever they want to. Bizarre charges can be tried and people are executed through these systems. There is rarely any intervention by the police to stop them because the police, as mentioned above, play a particular part in the real legal system that operates in many parts of Pakistan….

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  1. says

    Until they stop prevaricating and obfuscating about the atrocities their co-religionists are doing around the world, and/or until they stop passively enabling their co-religionists; then all Muslims are guilty and responsible for unspeakably grotesque, ghoulish and gruesome horrors like this.

  2. says


    Baptism and the Eucharist, that were instituted by Jesus to confer sanctifying grace.

    Blood sacrifice and Jihad
    that Muhammad and his lowlife followers used to blasphemy against God.

  3. says

    And Jesus is recorded as saying at the planned stoning of an alleged adulteress. “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”. NO stones were thrown. the assembled dropped their stones and walked away. Jesus then said to the woman, “go and sin no more”.
    How would that go down at an Islamic stoning I wonder?

  4. says

    I wonder how many in the mob that murdered her are British citizens or have close relatives living in Britain. Probably around 25%-30%.

  5. says

    Panchayat is NOT an illegal judicial system run by feudal lords and tribal leaders. It simply means an Indian system of localized self government, for welfare. Panchayat has no judicial power and the primary function of the Panchayat is welfare and organizing records including, providing nursery education if there is no kintergardens in a village, record births, marriages and deaths, maintenance roads, sanitation, etc. Panchayat members are elected not feudal lords or tribal leaders. However, this is an Indian institution, may be the Pakistani tribal or vigilante meeting is simply termed as a “Panchayat” to indicate a village meeting, which has nothing to do with the real Panchayat.

  6. says

    Sadly, Colonel, I get much what I expect from today’s BBC. It is, as you point out, totally biased. Any incident that puts Islam in a bad light, such as this one, tends to go unreported.

    Similar incidents that do make the news are put through the PCMC mangle, so that, for example, an 18 year old killer is referred to differently depending on his ethnicity and religion. An 18 year old white Christian is ‘a man’. An 18 year old West Indian is ‘a youth’. A 18 year old mohammedan is ‘an Asian youth’. If this incident does, somehow, make the BBC news there will be no mention of Islam, and the motives will be attributed to primitive tribal customs.

    Fortunately, the BBC is no longer the sole source of news for the British public, who are more and more aware of, and fed up with, this ongoing deception.

  7. says

    Very true, most non-Islamic Asians are offended by branding them with the Islamic thugs who rape, murder and hate. BBC always avoid mentioning Islam, when Anders Breivik, an atheist went on a killing spree, they have no problems in proclaiming him as a “fundamentalist Christian.” So much for the mainstream media…

  8. says

    BBC could have reported ‘A Southeast asian person was allegedly killed by an alleged crowd of south east asian persons who allegedly threw unidentified objects at the (then not) dead person. The cause of the throwing of unidentified objects is alleged to be a slight disagreement regarding the ownership of a mobile phone’.

  9. says

    yes, the British media seem to be afraid to use the terms Muslim or Islam, and instead use the term ‘Asian’ so as to ovoid offending anyone- an irony as that is racist against Asians

  10. says

    Fantastic, they may even use “ufo” to denote stone, as unidentified “flying” objects against the unidentified person. :)