Pakistan: Five Acquitted in Gang-Rape Case
Monday, May 23, 2011 10:55 AM

The Pakistani Supreme Court recently acquitted five of six men accused of the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai.  Mai, who was gang-raped as punishment for a sexual assault committed by her brother, raised charges against fourteen men in 2002. All fourteen were originally acquitted of all charges, though five of the men were eventually sentenced and remained in prison until this year.


Lawyers suggest that Mai’s age (32) and status as a divorced woman likely hurt her case – divorced women in Pakistan are typically viewed as sexually promiscuous and immoral.  The human rights community has noted that the Supreme Court’s ruling is not unusual for Pakistan, where violence against women is widespread.  Women like Mai face an additional hurdle as many Pakistanis believe that true victims will not report their rapes.


The judges’ ruling was said to have relied heavily on conjecture and misreading of the evidence, according to attorneys, who also believe that the ruling will be discouraging for other victims who considered Mai’s case a symbolic victory.  Mai’s lawyer has appealed the Supreme Court’s verdict.



Compiled from: Ebrahim, Zofeen. IPSRape Victims Left Feeling Hopeless (16 May 2011).