Magazine article New Internationalist

Jailed for Being Raped (Lahore, Pakistan)

Magazine article New Internationalist

Jailed for Being Raped (Lahore, Pakistan)

Article excerpt

Under the Hudood Ordinances promugated by General Zia ul Haq in 1979, a woman or girl who reports a rape is liable to find herself accused of the the serious offence of zina -- adultery. The rape survivor is assumed guilty of 'illicit sexual intercourse' unless she can prove innocence. This requires producing, as witnesses to the act, four Muslim adult males of good character.

In 1984 a 15 - year - old parentless girl called Jenhan Mina was raped by her uncle and her cousin while staying at their home to tend her sick aunt. Later, when she showed signs of pregnancy, she confessed to another uncle that the rape had occurred. He went to the police and a case was set in motion. Jehan Mina had to be protected from the accused uncle and her grandfather who wanted to kill her.

When the case came to trial the accused men were acquitted. Not surprisingly there were no 'four adult male witnesses' to the crime. …

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