Pakistan authorities have reported that a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed by her uncle today. The murder reportedly occurred after she refused to lower the volume of her music.
Rehana Bibi was gunned down by her uncle, Muhammad Gullistan, in the village of Matan Kalan in Punjab province, Pakistan. Matan Kalan is located in Chakwal, 56 miles east of Islamabad.
According to her father, Munsib Khan, Gullistan had visited their house at 10am this morning. When Bibi refused to turn down the music on her tape recorder, the two relatives began to fight. Gullistan then withdrew a pistol and shot her. After the attack, he fled the village.
“Two bullets were fired at the girl,” explained a Pakistan police official. “One hit her in the head while the other on her face. She died on the spot.”
Her father immediately went to the authorities to report his brother’s crime. Police official Ali Akbar said they are now attempting to locate and arrest Gullistan. “We have registered a case against him and are making efforts to trace him,” said Akbar.
Both Sadat Ali and Qaisar Abbas, officials on duty at Kallar Kahar police station, confirmed from witness reports that the violence had occurred in response to Bibi’s music. “The girl Rehana Bibi was alone at her home and was listening to music when her uncle Muhammad Gulistan… came to her house and asked to lower the volume,” explained Ali. “On her refusal, they quarrelled and Gulistan shot her dead.”
“Muhammad Gullistan visited the house while her family was away,” said Abbas. “He asked her to turn the music down but she refused and they had an argument. He shot her with a 33-bore pistol.”
The police said they were not aware of any family conflict or feud prior to the shooting. Women in Pakistan face constant acts of violence, often over minor issues or perceived breaks in conservative social traditions. At least hundreds are killed there every year over matters of ‘honor.’
According to the Aurat Foundation, which works to improve the lives of Pakistani women, more than 3000 women have been killed for ‘honor’ since 2008. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 869 ‘honor killings’ took place in 2013, but the figure is likely higher since many cases go unreported.
Pakistani law states that a woman’s next of kin can forgive her murderers. Because Pakistani women are often killed by their own relatives, thousands of them are able to escape without punishment. Since women are murdered every day in Pakistan, these crimes rarely receive more than a paragraph of attention in the newspapers.