An Islamic cleric ordered that 18-year-old Bedi Begum be buried in mud up to her waist and then flogged 101 times with a bamboo cane as punishment for having premarital sex and inducing an abortion using herbs. She died the next day after the cleric prevented her family from taking her to a doctor.
Islamic clerics have no legal authority to hold trials or to carry out punishments, yet they have ordered the brutal, and many times fatal, beatings of countless women. Women’s rights groups say that more than 60 women have been flogged to death for crimes including adultery and failure to cover their heads with a veil during the last 6 years alone.
The villagers who buried and flogged Begum have fled from the village, and police were not informed until almost 1 week after the murder. According to police officials, the cleric had told Begum’s family that he would seek revenge on them if they failed to remain silent.