Some positive news today for a change.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the rearrest of 13 individuals who are responsible for the gang-rape as punishment aka honour rape of Mukhtar Mai/Mukktaran Bibi. From the CBC (Court orders rearrest of gang-rape suspects):

Tuesday’s ruling suspends an earlier decision by the provincial high court that overturned the convictions of five of the six men accused of attacking Mukhtar Mai.

Eight others, who served on the village council that ordered her to be raped, were also acquitted at that time, but were ordered rearrested on Tuesday.

(…)

“I was expecting justice from the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court has done justice,” Mai said Tuesday.

There was a huge outcry two weeks ago when Ms. Bibi was locked in her house and threatened by these same individuals, when it became known that she was in the process of traveling to the US to tell her story. When that did not stop her plans, Ms. Bibi was then kidnapped by the government and secreted away.

This courageous woman survived a gang rape by her community – those who sentenced, carried it out, and cheered it on. With the help of her Muslim leader, she took them to court and won. She was awarded $8000. She used the money to open a school for children, including those of the rapists.

The entire story is both disgustingly horrific and awe-inspiring.

From the BBC (Pakistan rape acquittals rejected):

She said: “I had three choices. Either to commit suicide by jumping in a well or shed tears all my life like any other victim in such cases, or challenge the cruel feudal and tribal system and harsh attitudes of society.”

The blog community and news orgs really put pressure on this story. I think they made a difference.

For more information see Ms. Bibi’s entry on wikipedia here. And I must acknowledge this blogger, Tom Watson, who has followed this story closely and covered it extensively. He considers Ms. Bibi a hero. And I must admit, I do as well.

Update [2005-6-28 11:45:20 by olivia]:

Thanks to susanhu for pointing out this link to Democracy Now/ Amy Goodman: “I Will Go On Until I Have Even the Slightest Hope of Justice” – Rare Broadcast Interview With Pakistani Rape Survivor Mukhtar Mai.

This is the message we should be left with, in Mukhtar Mai’s words (translated by Azra Rashid):

The whole world is with me if you think about it. Not just Pakistan, but the whole world. And if I’m not getting justice, then there is little hope for other women going through the same kind of abuse.

The world needs more Mukhtar Mai.

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