Village council arrested after girl burned alive for helping friend elope

Thirteen members of a tribal council in Pakistan have been arrested over the killing of a 16-year-old girl who helped her friend elope. They were held after the charred remains of Ambreen Riasat were discovered in a burnt-out Suzuki van in the tourist resort of Donga Gali on 29 April. The girl’s mother, who supported the decision of the tribal council, or jirga, was also arrested. The group has been remanded into police custody for two weeks on murder and terrorism charges.

Until and unless you take strong action against these jirga members and their supporters in the community, no law can help to stop the brutal killing of women for honour

Activist Samar Minallah

Ambreen was drugged, strangled and put in the same van her friend used to elope. The van was then torched. Police said the killing was intended to “make a lesson for other girls” and one member of the council had already confessed to the crime. The teenager was said to be a victim of long-standing prejudice In Pakistan, where women who defy their family in the name of love are considered a source of shame. Hundreds of women are murdered in Pakistan every year by their relatives in so-called “honour killings”.

Despite the requests and pleas from her parents, villagers forcibly brought her out and set her afire while roping her to the seat of the vehicle

Regional police chief Saeed Wazir