Pakistan upholds rape acquittals – continues to avoid 21st Century

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by gang rape victim Mukhtar Mai against the acquittal of five men she accused of attacking her…

Mai, now 40, was gang raped in June 2002 on the orders of a village council in Meerwala town of Punjab province as punishment after her younger brother was wrongly accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan.

The boy was 12-years-old at the time.

A local anti-terrorism court (ATC) had sentenced the six accused men to death, but the Lahore High Court acquitted five of the men in March 2005, and commuted the sentence for the main accused, Abdul Khaliq, to life imprisonment.

A four-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday “dismissed” all appeals and ordered the release of those arrested, according to a copy of the court order received by AFP. It however upheld the life sentence for Khaliq…

Mai, whose case garnered much attention in the West as an example of oppression suffered by Pakistan’s women, expressed her disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict while human rights groups also voiced discontent…

Mai, who now helps protect women facing threats at the hands of influential men, said she would not file any appeal against Thursday’s judgement…

“This is a setback for Mukhtar Mai,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement urging the government to “ensure her safety.”

Pakistan’s government refuses to ensure honesty. Why should you expect safety?

Almost a thousand women were raped in Pakistan during 2010 while more than 2,000 were abducted and almost 1,500 murdered, according to the Aurat Foundation, an organisation working for the protection of women in the country.

A further 500 were the victims of “honour killings”, a custom under which relatives and other fellow tribesmen kill a woman if they believe she had an affair.

There are many nations devoting every opportunity afforded to bring the lives of their families, their neighbors, their nation to a healthier, better life. I’d be hard pressed to qualify Pakistan as one of those progressive nations.

2 thoughts on “Pakistan upholds rape acquittals – continues to avoid 21st Century

  1. Jack hamer says:

    I wonder if figure of 1000 women raped, is correct because there does not seem any data collection system in Pakistan.

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