- Pakistan - Sharia - Taliban - violence against women
This video is a fake! That's the outcome of an investigation undertaken a fortnight after pictures of a public flogging of a teenage girl were broadcast, causing outrage across much of the world.
According to research carried out in the area, the 17-year-old girl was not flogged in this village in the Swat valley. But this is not an unusual scene by any means in this Taliban-held valley. Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan is angry because these pictures - whose origin he neglects to mention - were broadcast without their permission.
Khan says: “Foreign media like CNN, like France 24, from now on they will show the real thing, the real news. This way we’ll see that the people accept Taliban punishments, because they are under the rule of Islam and under the rule of our prophet Mohammed. We must accept this because we are Muslims.”
Beaten 20 times by the Taliban, Shazia has just escaped the Swat valley. Originating from Afghanistan, she lives a happy life with her husband and eight children in a two-bedroom apartment near Islamabad. Shazia explains: “The Taliban hit me in the street because I went out alone, without my husband. But I didn’t have a choice. My husband was very sick and I had to go to get him medicine and also to feed my children. Each time, they beat me with a baton on my legs and my feet. The neighbours looked at me and I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel humiliated; I just thought ‘I’m going to die’”.
For the Taliban, a woman is not equal to a man and should stick to her strict role according to Sharia law. For Muslim Khan: “She must stay at home: if she goes against her husband she must go to court…Prison or die!"
In her new house, Shazia is well aware of what she has escaped. “I am scared of the Taliban. I’ll never leave now, because I feel free and safe”, she says. More than 1.5 million inhabitants of the Swat valley have succumbed to the Taliban’s strict and arbitrary interpretation of Sharia. Once a tourist destination, there is now a climate of terror in the valley where they rule. They have already announced their intention to carry out their idea of justice across all of Pakistan.