A woman’s honour

Tuesday 8 March 2005

THE acquittal of five of the six accused in the
Mukkhtar Mai rape case, and the final one’s reduction
of sentence from death to life imprisonment, has
created several effects, and highlighted several
issues, none of them pleasing or positive.

Ms Mukhtar’s screams in the courtroom upon the
announcement of the verdict reflected fear rather than
disappointment, for the accused, who were powerful
enough to subject her to the most demeaning and
debased punishment it is possible for the mind of man
to devise for a woman, are now free to roam Meerwala,
the site of the original crime, to plot revenge for
her temerity in trying to bring them to justice. The
Lahore High Court bench at Multan which made this
decision may well have been obliged by the
circumstances to hand down the decision it did. The
police, which is supposed to prepare a watertight
case, rarely does so, and it is also worth noting that
subordinate courts’ decisions are often too defective
to be upheld on appeal. It might be true that ‘it is
better that 99 guilty men go free, rather than one
guilty man be hanged,’ but this axiom is showing signs
of wear and tear in Pakistan, and the public has
formed the impression, erroneous as it might be, that
the courts care more about the finer technicalities of
the law, than delivering justice.

The acquittal has received adverse comment from around
the world, and hardly serves to propagate the ‘softer
gentler image’ the government wants. Ms Mukhtar is
unsafe, and the message going out to would-be
gangrapists is that they can get away with it, facing
at worst the inconvenience of a court trial. This is
especially so after the Sui gangrape, and here the
accused do not have military status to provide a
reason for special treatment. The Punjab government
and Ms Mukhtar have both decided to go to the Supreme
Court. Far be it from anyone to try to influence the
court, but it is humbly submitted that an application
of the principles of natural justice might help
protect the victim. Meanwhile, the victim must be
provided round-the-clock protection against her
erstwhile attackers.

With International Women’s Day to be celebrated
tomorrow, the signal sent to the world about how we
treat our women is singularly negative.

EDITORIAL Monday March 7, 2005


Vous avez aimé cet article?

  • Le Journal des Alternatives vit grâce au soutien de ses lectrices et lecteurs.

    Je donne

Cet article est classé dans :

Partagez cet article sur :

Articles de la même rubrique

Analysis and Articles

In Defence of Neve Gordon

Plus d'articles :  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Articles sur le même sujet


Pakistan : pourquoi des islamistes ont-ils tenté d’assassiner Malala ?

Plus d'articles :  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Je m’abonne

Recevez le bulletin mensuel gratuitement par courriel !

Je soutiens

Votre soutien permet à Alternatives de réaliser des projets en appui aux mouvements sociaux à travers le monde et à construire de véritables démocraties participatives. L’autonomie financière et politique d’Alternatives repose sur la générosité de gens comme vous.

Je contribue

Vous pouvez :

  • Soumettre des articles ;
  • Venir à nos réunions mensuelles, où nous faisons la révision de la dernière édition et planifions la prochaine édition ;
  • Travailler comme rédacteur, correcteur, traducteur, bénévole.

514 982-6606