At the Oscars this year, alongside the most prestigious nominations usually rewarding the blockbusters of the year, a committed short film that tells the true story of Saba, a Pakistani who survived an honor killing, is nominated in the “Short film” category.
PBecause she got married to the man she loved, Saba's father shot her in the head before bagging her body and dumping it in a river. He was not charged for his actions due to a loophole in Pakistani law, which allows men to commit “honor killings”. As unbelievable as it may sound, Saba survived.
Indeed, in Pakistan, a woman standing up to a man can be assassinated to cleanse the honor of the family, without her executioner being worried by justice. These honor killings seem to be tolerated by the courts.
In the event that the victim does not die, even if the men end up in prison, the penal code provides for the abandonment of any prosecution if the victim grants them his pardon.
For Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the director of the short film, "A girl in the river, the weight of forgiveness", the statuette would not be the greatest reward. She also said at the microphone ofEuroNews that she wanted through the media:
Launch a national debate because people must understand that it is a very serious crime… The biggest victory of the film would be that our Prime Minister seizes the file and that he brings together the competent people around a table to make pass the law against honor killings. This would be her contribution to the cause of women because no woman in this country should be murdered for honor. If so people have to go to jail to set an example.
She is well on her way to fulfilling her goal. The event and the media coverage are starting to weaken the Pakistani government, the Prime Minister has already declared that he wants to put an end to these heinous crimes.
The site Avaaz also intends to echo the film with a petition that has just reached its goal of 500 signatures in just a few days.
This petition is addressed to the President, the Prime Minister and all parliamentarians of Pakistan. She urges them "to immediately change the law to remove this legal loophole of 'pardon' that protects the guilty, and to ensure that they are brought to justice. "
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