Girl raped and paraded naked
KARACHI: The police have arrested six men who allegedly raped a teenage girl and forced her to parade naked through a village in a so-called “honour punishment”, officials said Wednesday.
The men kidnapped the 16-year-old girl in Habib Labalo village in southern Sindh province on Saturday because her cousin had an affair with a woman from their family, local police officer Aftab Farooqi told AFP.
Two of them raped her and other members of the group later forced her to walk naked through the streets before villagers intervened, Farooqi said quoting the girl’s family members and local residents.
“We have arrested six people so far and we will soon be able to arrest all those named in the case,” Farooqi said, adding that a medical report “confirmed” she was raped.
Dozens of women are killed or raped every year in deeply conservative rural Pakistan supposedly in the name of protecting family honour over allegations of illicit sexual relationships.
People in a central Pakistani town on Sunday tied a woman and her lover to a tree and stoned them to death.
The rape case mirrors that of Pakistani rights campaigner Mukhtar Mai, who was gang-raped and left naked on the orders of a tribal council in 2002 as punishment for her brother’s alleged affair with a woman from another tribe.
Mai’s case caused an international outcry. She was later barred from leaving the country to address human rights groups in the United States.
Pakistan last year brought in a law introducing the death penalty for honour killings. Gang-rape is also punishable by death in Pakistan.
Reuters adds: Police said the girl’s father had filed a complaint on Saturday in Ubaro town, 530 km (330 miles) from the city of Karachi, saying a group of 11 men had kidnapped his daughter, raped her and forced her to parade naked.
The father told police the men were furious because the girl’s cousin had eloped with and married a young woman from their family. “Some villagers have said the girl was raped and her clothes torn off,” investigating police officer Aftab Farooqi told Reuters.
“They also claim she was forced to walk half naked in the village streets before some older woman covered her with a blanket,” he said. The girl is in hospital in Ubaro, police said.
Another senior police official, Mushtaq Khoso, said police had arrested four of the 11 men named in the complaint and police were awaiting a medical report to confirm the 16-year-old had been raped. Another police officer said certain influential people were pressing the girl’s father to drop his complaint.
Mai’s case highlighted Pakistan’s laws on rape and helped galvanise public opinion behind a government-backed change to Islamic laws, approved late last year, that makes it easier for women to seek justice in civil courts. Under the old Islamic law on rape, a woman risked prosecution for adultery unless she could produce four male witnesses to a rape. afp