France: Pakistani man on trial for setting woman alight
Butt fled to Pakistan after the attack on Belayni but returned to France to hand himself in a year later. He has confessed to the attack and blamed it on an obsession with the young woman. He faces a maximum sentence of life in jail.
At the start of the trial, the court rejected a request from Belayni that the hearings take place behind closed doors, causing her to burst into tears.
Human rights groups such as the prominent "Ni Putes Ni Soumises" ("Neither whores nor submissive women") say violence against women is rife in certain poor communities with high Muslim populations on the outskirts of French cities.
The activists say some young Muslim men take out their frustrations about poverty and discrimination on women, demanding that they cover up according to Islamic tradition. If they refuse, they are considered "whores".
10 February 2009
Reporting by Thierry Leveque; Writing by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Louise Ireland
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