PAKISTAN. TRIBAL COUNCIL ORDERS EXECUTION OF TWO MEN
May 24, 2005: two men accused of murdering a taxi driver were executed by a firing squad on the orders of a tribal council in rural Pakistan, witnesses said, highlighting the rule of deep-rooted tribal customs. The two accused, Taj Mohammad and Mohammad Omar, were gunned down in the presence of scores of tribesmen in Orakzai tribal district, resident Shahid Khayal Mohammad said.
"They were executed in front of us and scores of other people also watched it," Khayal said.
The pair and another man who has not been captured were sentenced to death by the tribal council for allegedly killing cab driver Mohammad Ayub two weeks previously, he said. The relatives of the driver petitioned their case before the tribal elders and named the alleged killers. After a brief hearing the council announced the death penalties.
A government official in Orakzai district confirmed the shooting.
"The incident has occurred in Orakzai's Dabori village, and we are preparing an official report on it," Rafiullah, who goes by one name only, said.
Pakistani tribal regions are governed by special laws enforced through a centrally-controlled political administration. But tribal councils have continued to defy them and pass harsh punishments for crimes as part of their age-old customs. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 24/05/2005)