Pakistan: Oscar for honor killings film is 'national pride'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 11:32 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday congratulated Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on winning an Academy Award for her documentary "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness", highlighting the issue of honor killing.

It's the second Oscar for Obaid-Chinoy. Her first documentary, "Saving Face," about female victims of acid attacks, won an Oscar in 2012.

Praising Obaid-Chinoy, Sharif said in a statement that "there is no place for killing in the name of honor in Islam."

He said that his government is in the process of developing legislation to stop such brutal and inhumane acts in the name of honor.

"Women like Ms Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy are not only a pride for the Pakistani nation but are also a significant source of contribution toward the march of civilization the world over," Sharif said.

Earlier the country's Foreign Ministry said it welcomes the Oscar for best documentary short subject, saying the film is a source of "national pride."

The film explores the practice of honor killings, where fathers, husbands and brothers kill their wives, daughters or sisters for shaming them, accusing them of "stealing" their honor.

Pakistani rights groups say there are about 1,000 honor killings every year and that the killers are rarely punished.

The killing of women — often by their own family members — over alleged sexual indiscretions is common in conservative parts of the Muslim world, where men and women are segregated outside the home and arranged marriage is the norm.

The killers are rarely prosecuted, because Pakistani law allows relatives of the victim to forgive the killer, a provision based in Islamic law.