Teenaged girl flogged by Taliban in Pakistan 

Indo-Asian News Service
London, April 03, 2009
Last Updated: 16:09 IST(3/4/2009)

A 17-year-old screaming, burqa-clad girl was whipped by Taliban fighters in 
Pakistan's restive Swat Valley for coming "out of her house with another guy 
who was not her husband", a two-minute video shot through a mobile phone showed.

The video showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and 
feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whipped her 
repeatedly, the Guardian reported.

The newspaper said it received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun 
documentary maker.

"Please stop it," the girl begged repeatedly. "Either kill me or stop it now."

After 34 lashes the punishment stopped and the wailing girl was led into a 
stone building.

"She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must 
punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," the Guardian quoted Taliban 
spokesman Muslim Khan as saying.

The punishment was meted out within last 10 days, Minallah said.

"This video is being widely circulated because the Taliban want people to see 
it. They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace 
deal because this is something they ideologically believe in," the newspaper 
quoted her as saying.

The girl's brother is among the men who pinned her down, she added. "It's 
symbolic that he does it with his own hands. It gives him honour in local 
society, that he has done it for the sake of religion."

Pakistan's North West Frontier Province government ceded authority to the 
Taliban under a peace deal, giving them almost a free hand to impose their 
puritan Islamic rule on the around 600,000 people of Swat and its seven 
neighbouring districts. 

The peace accord signed with pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Sufi Mohammad includes 
measures to establish Islamic courts, a ban on music, expulsion of prostitutes 
and pimps from the area, closure of businesses during prayer times, and a 
campaign against what they call obscenity

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