Village Elders’ Upside Down View of Rape

February 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Posted in Crime and punishment, Fairness | Leave a comment
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Population density in Pakistan.  Figure created by nomi887 .

Population density in Pakistan. Figure created by nomi887 .

When a 13 year old girl was gang raped in a village in Pakistan, she filed charges against her attackers.  That violated tribal tradition.  The village elders sentenced her to death for bringing disgrace to the village.

(I learned all this from a fine article by Michele Langevine Leiby in the Washington Post.)

The village elders need to understand that it is they, the elders, who disgraced their village.  They did so in three ways:
– they failed to punish the rapists
– they failed to comfort and heal the innocent victim
– by those two errors, they failed to protect the village’s children.

The girl is Kainat Soomro.  She is still alive, protected by the police, and she is still seeking justice.
Michele Langevine Leiby’s article notes that Soomro’s story, and that of her rapists, is the subject of a documentary film, Outlawed in Pakistan, by Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann, and that an expanded version of the film will be shown on TV this spring, in PBS’ Frontline series.

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