5 Aug 2012

Police suspended for parading couple naked in public

1:30 pm on 5 August 2012

Several Pakistani police officers have been suspended after being accused of parading a couple naked in public.

According to witnesses, police in the Sindh town of Gambat forced the man and woman to walk to the police station naked as punishment for trying to have sex outside marriage.

Mobile phone footage shows a naked man being beaten by police and a woman begging them to let her cover herself.

After a public outcry, officials suspended the officers involved.

A BBC correspondent says incidents of public dishonouring are not uncommon in Pakistan, but this incident is particularly shocking because it was carried out by police and filmed on mobile phones.

Last year, several men were arrested for stripping a middle-aged woman naked and parading her around her village as punishment for her son allegedly having an affair with a woman in their family.

The footage of this latest incident shows the man, Mumtaz Mirbahar, being pushed around and abused by police officers on his property.

He is then forced to walk naked to the police station, alongside his alleged partner, as a large crowd looks on.

Mr Mirbahar, who says he has been "deeply scarred" by the incident, has been released on bail, but the unnamed woman involved is still in detention.

Local police say they took action in response to several public complaints against Mr Mirbahar, who had reportedly been holding drink and dance parties during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.