Winner 1999

Murder in Purdah

BBC News

In Pakistan, men kill their wives, mothers, daughters and sisters with impunity while women wait on death row for killing their husbands in self-defense. Women simply suspected of sex outside of marriage or who are merely disobedient are burned, tortured and murdered—justifiably, say their own fathers, brothers and sons—in the defense of family honor. Murder in Purdah, presented by BBC News’ superb Correspondent series, bears witness to the tragic stories of these women in stark detail. BBC reporter Olenka Frenkiel and senior producer Giselle Portenier traveled throughout Pakistan to reveal the terrible injustices perpetrated upon these women and to interview the men who committed the acts. Everywhere it is shown Murder in Purdah is making a major impact on so-called “honor killings.” In Britain, lawyers used the film as evidence to help prevent the deportation of two women to Pakistan. The European Union officially condemned the practice. Most important, the government of Pakistan announced new measures to protect women, including a proposal to finally treat honor killing as a crime and a promise to set up a commission for human rights. For a television news report causing change at the international level, a Peabody to BBC News for Murder in Purdah.