Pakistani police in gun over 'walk of shame'

By Andrew Buncombe

Local police took action against Mumtaz Mirbahar following complaints that he was holding parties at his home during the month of Ramadan. Photo / Thinkstock
Local police took action against Mumtaz Mirbahar following complaints that he was holding parties at his home during the month of Ramadan. Photo / Thinkstock

A number of Pakistani police officers have been suspended after they forced a man and woman accused of having an extra-marital affair to parade naked through their town, with at least one of the officers filming the "walk of shame" with his mobile phone.

Grainy footage obtained by the BBC shows the man, Mumtaz Mirbahar, being beaten by police and the woman prevented from putting on her clothes, despite her begging the officers. A crowd steadily gathers as the couple are forced to walk from the man's house to the police station.

Incidents relating to matters of so-called "honour" are not uncommon in Pakistan. Last year, several men were arrested for stripping naked a middle-aged woman and walking her through their village as punishment for her son allegedly having an affair with a woman in their family.

But what makes this incident in the Sindh town of Gambat stand out is the incident was captured on a mobile phone. The man subsequently told reporters he had been deeply scarred by what had happened to him.

He secured bail from the local court and has filed a petition with the Sindh high court that is due to be heard on 8 August. Reports suggest the woman is still in police custody, after the incident on 27 July.

Local police said they took action against Mr Mirbahar following complaints from several local people that he was holding "drink and dance" parties at his home during the month of Ramadan. Reports suggested that while neighbours confirmed there had been some issues, they did not support the police's humiliation of Mr Mirbahar and the woman.

- INDEPENDENT

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