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September-03-02

Six Men Sentenced to Death for Gang Rape in Pakistan

A Pakistani judge sentenced six men to death by hanging for the tribal court-ordered gang rape of a woman in the village of Meerwala. Four of the men were charged for the actual rape while the two other men were charged as members of the tribal council who ordered the rape as punishment for disgrace caused by an "illicit affair" involving the woman’s brother with a woman of a higher tribal class.

Eight other members of the Mastoi tribal court were acquitted. In June, the court presented two options for the punishment for the brother’s alleged affair: All the women in the boy’s family would be raped or his sister could accept her sentence. Hence, four men, including a member of the court, raped the victim before hundreds of Mastoi spectators in the village of Meerwala. Afterwards, the girl was forced to return home naked.

The six men sentenced to death have filed appeals asking the court dismiss the sentence. It is not clear whether the court will hear their arguments or reject their appeal. Another appeal will also be launched by the Special Public Prosecutor, Khalid Joiya, against the decision to acquit the eight men who were involved in ordering the gang rape.

Media Resources: Associated Press 9/1/2002, 9/2/2002, 9/3/2002; BBC News 9/3/2002

   

     

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