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Proof of life call for 'dancing women'

Activists want conclusive evidence that no killings have occurred

by reporter, Lahore

June 8, 2012

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Activists today called for concrete proof that five tribal women reportedly sentenced to death by a local cleric for mingling with men at a wedding are still alive. They were responding to claims by a fact-finding team which told the Supreme Court yesterday they had made contact with two of the women in Gada, a remote tribal village in the northwest of the country, and received assurances that the other three were safe. The women had allegedly danced and sang songs with two men at a wedding in defiance of a tribal custom. They were all reportedly condemned when a video of the wedding filmed by one of the men was circulated about two months ago. Concern over the fate of the women grew earlier this week after the brother of one of the men in the video said the women had been killed. “We could only meet two girls due to time restrictions,, said Rifat Butt, one of several activists who accompanied officials to the village. Another activist on the trip, Farzana Bari, said the three others are also alive. “They are in their homes far away in mountainous areas," she told reporters yesterday. However, other activists say assurances are not enough and that a complete investigation needs to take place to ensure all the women are safe “It is good this team went to see for themselves but they need more time for a complete investigation,” said Kiran Khan a human rights trainer at the Catholic Bishops, National Commission for Justice and Peace. Related reports Rights workers support women’s vote

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