Man arrested for ‘murdering his cousins over video’

Man arrested for 'murdering cousins over video'
Police had been looking for Muhammad Aslam for several days. Source: North Wazirastan police
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: Police in Pakistan have arrested a man suspected of murdering his cousins, two young girls, over a leaked video that went viral on social media.

The 52 seconds long video shows a man is kissing the girls. Muhammad Aslam is suspected of murdering his cousins, aged 16 and 18, who were his cousins. These kind of murders is described there as so called ‘honour killing’.

The man in the video, the owner of the phone where it was recorded on, and relatives of the women are also in custody. In the video, Umer Ayaz, 28, is seen in a secluded area outdoors with three veiled women, two of whom he then kisses. He has been arrested and charged with making the “vulgar” video clip.

Rights groups say violence against women remains a serious problem in Pakistan. They were murdered last week in the village of Shamplan, in Garyom region on the border of North and South Waziristan tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Local police officer Shafiullah Gandapur told that they initially heard reports of the killings through social media.

The police officers who travelled to the village earlier said they “found traces of blood, as well as blood-stained fabric”.

The girls’ murder appears to be related to the video which was leaked on social media platforms. It appeared that video was recorded nearly a year ago but went viral a few weeks ago.

Police are now looking for the third girl shown in the footage. She is the wife of the alleged killer. Police believed that the girl is hiding and they are looking for her because her life may still be at risk.

Pakistani police said on Tuesday that the man who filmed himself kissing two girls has been arrested.

According to the police statement, the 28-year-old Umar Ayaz is charged with making the video.

Activists believed that in Pakistan, about 1,000 such ‘honour killing’ murders are carried out every year.

Many such murders go unreported. Social media star Qandeel Baloch was killed in 2016, whose life and death caused a sensation in socially-conservative Pakistan, led to the government tightening the laws.

What is an ‘honour killing’?

‘Honour Killing’ is the killing of a family member who is perceived to have brought dishonour upon relatives.

Human Rights Watch says the most common reasons are that the victim:

  • refused to accept and arrange marriage proposal.
  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault
  • had sexual relations outside of marriage, even if only alleged.