This is the story about love and sacrifice

This is the story about love and sacrifice. A story about a sad destiny, a life of a woman in Pakistan. This is a story about Saba.
It’s about an 18-year-old girl who survived the impossible. Her family tried to kill her because she insulted a family honour. Saba was supposed to get married for the young man she loved and nothing stood on their way, either from him or her side, except that her uncle opposed this marriage, because the family of the groom was poor. The young ones therefore decided to get marry secretly in the city hall. His family accepted their marriage. Her father and her uncle went to his place and begged to let the bride to go home, so that her family can do it properly and that the family would not suffer the shame. However, instead of taking Saba home, they took her to the forest by the river, beat her for hours, then fired at her face, strutted in a sack, bound and thrown into the river.
She is today one of perhaps a thousand who survived. This girl proved to be special in that she drove her father and uncle to court so that someone else, if nothing else, at least twice thinks about it before deciding to do something like that. But Saba came across another obstacle, this time the judicial, which she failed to overcome. The family and the environment were persuading Saba to forgive her father and uncle. Namely, in Pakistan, there is a law that allows someone to be freed of criminal prosecution if damaged party forgives the perpetrator directly. In the end, Saba did so.
Her case, however, is not a defeat. The Pakistani government has decided to deal with this serious problem.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reveals in this top-of-the-line, risky journalistic research the complex and violent forces that Pakistani women face, as well as the conflicting interpretations of Islam and how it relates to human rights and family honour.
However, the message that this movie sends is disturbing. A girl in the River culminated on a sad note. Saba was under the pressure by her family and community. On the end, both her father and uncle were released swiftly as per the country’s law, because she was pressurised to forgive them.
What is even more disconcerting is the pseudo pride of Saba’s father who refused to show any regret even after her daughter forgave him. He vowed to do even worse if any of his other daughters ever tried to follow in the footsteps of Saba in the future. He justified himself by saying, “These girls are my responsibility. I have to feed and protect them. They in return should not play with the pride of the family. That’s an unforgivable sin.”
Her father was sure that he did the right thing. He claimed that he is now highly respected because of his ‘daring act’ and every family in his village asks for his other daughters’ hand in marriage after the incident.
Ironically, Saba, like many other survivors of honour killing in Pakistan, was abandoned to live under constant threat; threat to her life, her new family and her unborn child. Though she survived the fatal attack, her lively spirit died its own death by the hands of the negligent judicial system and vicious social fabric. As she said, “I forgave my father and uncle for the sake of my family and community. But I will never forgive them wholeheartedly. I leave my justice to Allah. He will protect me and perish them for their sin.” Her message is loud and clear… “Stop acting like a god, be human.”
In Pakistan, more than 1 000 women per year, thought to have endangered the honour of their families, are cold-stoned or shot. More tragically, victims who survive these attacks are under the pressure of the elders in the community to forgive their attackers in order to bring order and peace among neighbours, and to release the perpetrators of guilt. Groups of the Human Rights Group in Pakistan are currently lobbying for new laws protecting women from the honour killing.
Unfortunately, the story about Saba is not a single story. There are many cases of violation of women´s and girl´s rights. There is also case of Fazeelat Bibi (20) from Pakistan city Lahore. The two brothers were found guilty of kidnapping 20 year-old girl, one of their cousins. They cut off her ears and nose because she refused to marry one of them. A Pakistani court has ordered that two men have their ears and noses cut off, as a punishment for doing the same to a Fazeelat Bibi ahe judge in Lahore sentenced them to life in prison.
Or a story about a six year-old girl, Zainab Ansari. The girl was abducted on the way to the school where the religion is held. Two days later, her body was discovered at the garbage dump. The child was raped several times and then strangled. Parents accuse the police of having done nothing after their daughter’s disappearance. The death of the small Zainab has led to astonishment and indignation in the country. On social networks for days, her death was the main topic. In the city of Kasur near the Indian border, violent protests have been launched against the Pakistani government, where some demonstrators were killed.
Only two months before Zainab´s killing, a girl named Kainat was also attacked and dumped in the trash in Kasur. She was the one who survived the violation, but family members say that she is disoriented, does not recognize them and cannot speak.
There is so many cases of honour killings and the violation of women´s and girl´s rights. The reasons for this violation are complicated. The main problem in Pakistan is the fact that no one has a feel of blame or responsibility. There is also the lack of education and the fact that there are often too much shame among the victims and the misconception of honour.
For example, authorities in Pakistan do not issue ID cards to women. Their education is prohibited, and market visits are permitted only with the escort of male relatives. Many women were shot on the streets for violating the norms of a very strict interpretation of Islam.
The sad fact is that Pakistan is not the only country where is dangerous to be a woman. There are also: Yemen, Iran, India, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and the USA is on the list too.

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