Three people, who were awarded life imprisonment for killing a group of women in Kohistan after a video of them clapping while male dancers were performing at a wedding ceremony went viral in 2012, have challenged their sentences.
Sahir, Sabeer and Umer Khan filed an appeal in the Abbottabad bench of the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday. They have said that they should be acquitted because they have nothing to do with the honour killings.
They were awarded on September 5 life imprisonment by a sessions court for committing premeditated murder.
Five people, identified as Sarfaraz, Mahboob Rahman, Abdul Rasheed, Shamsur Rehman and Habibullah, have been acquitted in the case.
The young women who were seen dancing in the video have been killed.
The Supreme Court had ordered the registration of an FIR in June 2018 and later a case was registered against the suspects. Kolai-Palas District Police Officer Iftikhar Khan had told the media that the police registered the FIR under Section 364 of the Pakistan Penal Code. It was later found that the girls were killed on the orders of a village jirga.
Afzal Kohistani, the brother of the men who were dancing in the video, had petitioned the Supreme Court on the matter after three of his brothers were killed after being seen dancing in the video that went viral on social media in 2012. Kohistani was shot dead in Abbottabad on March 7, 2019.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered an investigation to ascertain whether the girls were alright following conflicting reports of their well-being. The families said they were in good health, while others said they had been killed. A judicial commission formed by the top court and headed by the Kohistan district and session judge had revealed that the families actually produced other underage girls and tried to pass them off as the girls seen in the video.
The court ordered the suspects’ arrest after it was verified by NADRA that the girls shown by the families were not the ones in the video.