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  World   Asia  17 Dec 2016  Pak double Oscar winner hails bill on honour killings

Pak double Oscar winner hails bill on honour killings

AFP | ASHRAF KHAN
Published : Dec 17, 2016, 6:16 am IST
Updated : Dec 17, 2016, 6:22 am IST

Now a pardon can only save a killer from the death penalty, but not from life imprisonment.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy cast a spotlight on honour killings with her documentary A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness, which bagged an Academy Award. (Photo: AFP)
 Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy cast a spotlight on honour killings with her documentary A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness, which bagged an Academy Award. (Photo: AFP)

Karachi: Pakistan’s double-Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has hailed new legislation outlawing the crime of “honour killings” as a turning point in the long-battle on violence against women, as she sets her sights on conquering her country’s silver screen.

The filmmaker cast a spotlight on the issue with her documentary A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness — which bagged an Academy Award earlier this year.

 

“It is very good in the case of honour killing we finally have a legislation that is stronger,” she says.

In October, Pakistan’s government passed legislation aimed at closing loopholes that allowed the perpetrators of such killings, often relatives of the victim, to walk free after they are pardoned by another member of their family.

Now a pardon can only save a killer from the death penalty, but not from life imprisonment.

Critics contend that loopholes in the new law remain. For instance, if a killer claims a motive other than ‘honour’ to justify their act, the blood money pardon law may still apply.

There are at least 1000 ‘honour’ killings per year in Pakistan, but Ms Chinoy remains hopeful the tide is shifting, especially in the wake of widespread revulsion over the murder of a social-media starlet by her brother.

 

“It is not going to end tomorrow, but at least the process has started to send the men into jail who kill under the pretext of honour,” she says ahead of the premiere of her her new animated film 3 Bahadur part two (Three brave warriors), which follows three children superheroes.

If her pride is evident, it is unsurprising — Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif originally announced the bill following a screening in the capital of Ms Chinoy’s Oscar-winning film.

Many observers believe the weight of international pressure was a catalyst in the government’s decision to move a bill that was initially tabled three years ago.

Another turning point for Ms Chinoy was the murder of social media starlet Qandeel Baloch — who shot to fame for her selfies and videos praised by fans for daring to challenge the country’s strict social norms on how women should conduct themselves.

 

Tags: oscar, honour killing, academy award
Location: Pakistan, Sindh, Karachi