A woman who was raped by her cousin while holding a gun to her head has been sentenced to death in Pakistan.
A 19-year-old woman who was raped by her cousin at gunpoint has been sentenced to death by a council of village elders in Pakistan’s Punjab province, after she was found guilty of having an illicit relationship outside wedlock.
Hindustimes reports that the lady identified as Shumaila, had accused her cousin of raping her at gunpoint and made a report to the elders but they rather accused her of having an illicit affair with the man who assaulted her and found her guilty.
The incident happened in Rajanpur, a rural district about 400 kilometers from provincial capital Lahore where village elders are known as Panchayat, still decide cases.
According to the report, Shumaila was said to have escaped from the village after she came to know of the Panchayat’s decision and reported the matter to police.
She has denied having any illicit relationship with her cousin whose identity was revealed as Khalil Ahmed, and alleged that he raped her at gunpoint when she was sleeping at her house.
“I could not raise an alarm as Ahmed was holding a gun. But the Panchayat refused to accept my statement and declared that I wilfully slept with him,” Shumaila told the police.
She said the Panchayat did not take action against Ahmed and fearing for her life, she approached the police and reported the case.
The SHO of Fazilpur Police Station, Qaisar Hasnain, said Shumaila’s father said in a statement that he was forced to accept the Panchayat’s decision.
“We have registered a FIR against the Panchayat members and will take them into custody for declaring her Kaari (liable to death either by stoning or else).
Since the Panchayat declared her liable to be killed, her father had to accept the decision as it was the tradition of his village,” Hasnian said, adding that the police have sent Shumaila to a government safe house for women in Rajanpur.
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