10 years ago, a Pakistani village court ordered the rape of then 30-year old Mukhtar Mai, a standard punishment in Pakistan for women accused of having brought dishonor to their families or communities. On April 21, 2011, the Supreme Court of Pakistan convicted only one of the 14 men who raped Mukhtar Mai, while thirteen went free, write Pedro Pizano and Freedom Rights Project advisory board member Thor Halvorssen in Huffington Post. In November, Pakistan will get a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Mukhtar Mai was 30 years old, living in the village of Meerwal in Pakistan, when her 12-year old brother was allegedly seen walking with a girl from the higher-caste tribe, the Mastoi. The high court of the village ordered that his sister be raped in order to avenge the honor of the Mastoi. Fourteen men went to Mukhtar Mai’s house, dragged her out and gang-raped her. She was then paraded naked through the village.
After almost 10 years of bitter legal proceedings, the case of the legally sanctioned gang rape made its way to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On April 21, 2011, five of the accused were acquitted. Just one was convicted, and the reaction of the assembled crowd (including the Pakistani media present at the court) was applause. More here.
See Mukhtar Mai at the 2010 Oslo Freedom Forum.