'Revenge Rape' Allegedly Ordered by Pakistani Village Council

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 28, 2017

The practice of "revenge rape" among these tribal councils made global headlines in 2002 when a council ordered that a woman named Mukhtaran Mai be gang-raped as revenge for her brother's alleged sexual assault against another woman.

A view of the room where a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped on the order of a village council in Rajapur village near Multan, Pakistan July 27, 2017. The punishment was handed down after her brother was accused of assaulting a 12-year-old girl from the same village.

"All the village council elders who ordered the revenge rape have been arrested", he said. - Reuters picBoth victims and their mothers are now in a women's protection centre.

Jirgas, or village councils formed of local elders, are a traditional means of settling disputes in rural areas, where courts and lawyers are not always accessible or trusted.

In most of the country, jirgas are tolerated but not recognised by the formal courts and police.

In Muzzafarabad, panchayat as a punishment had ordered the rape of a girl whose brother had sexually assaulted a girl earlier.

A jirga was involved in one of South Asia's most infamous cases of sexual violence against women when, in 2002, it ordered the gang rape of a woman called Mukhtar Mai after her brother was falsely accused of rape.

Mai made an unconventional decision to file criminal charges against her attackers.

Mai went on to become a high-profile campaigner for women's rights in Pakistan.

The chief justice took notice on media reports that a teenage girl was allegedly raped on the orders of a panchayat comprising 20 members including four women.

"We are also investigating whether the sister of Wadda was raped in front of her parents and the brother (which is the claim of the Wadda family)", he said.

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