Monday, March 07, 2005

On The Mark -- They Think the World Stopped Watching; I Hope Not

You may remember the story in 2002 or maybe you've read some of the recent updates. If you thought it was bad then, it gets worse. And I fear the story will end even more tragically.

She lives in a small village in Pakistan. Her brother was accused and convicted of a crime by the village's tribal council (it was later learned that it was a false accusation). His punishment: that his innocent sister be raped by six members of the jury (who are all neighbors of the brother and sister). They immediately carried out the sentence and gang-raped her.

The world revolted, forcing a trial and the eventual conviction of the six rapists, who were given the death penalty. Last week the convictions were overturned; five of the rapists are free, the other had his sentence reduced to life in prison. The sister, of course, fears retaliation and for her life. You see, after the gang rape, she was supposed to commit suicide in shame. But she refused, she fought back, and even opened schools in the village because she believes that this way of thinking must be stopped when boys are young, before they are brainwashed.

She is fighting the sentence reversal at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. But what she is really fighting for is to avoid a revenge death sentence for her if the Supreme Court allows the reversal to stand.

Now she is really the one on death row. The only chance she has is if the media and rights groups make a lot of noise, as in 2002. Otherwise, in a year or so, we'll be reading about how she mysteriously disappeared or died "accidentally."

1 comment:

The Misanthrope said...

Glad you followed up on this story. It's sad that this type of behavior continues today. You would think that someone high up in our government would speak up about this crime and human rights violation.