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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Judge Humiliates Teenage Rape Victim

Judge Humiliates Teenage Rape Victim

The attitude of a Pakistani judge toward a teenage gang rape victim has caused widespread outrage, throwing the training of the country’s judicial figures into question. On March 25, 2008, additional district and sessions judge Nizar Ali Khawaja conducted the trial of four men who allegedly gang-raped 13-year-old Ms Kainat Soomro in 2007, over a three day period in Dadu district, Sindh. The girl, who was expecting an in-camera trial (one in the judge's private chambers), was asked by the judge to describe and even demonstrate her rape in detail in front of the accused, Mr Shahban Sheikh, Mr Sheikh Ehsan, Mr Roshan Aleem and Mr Kaleemullah, all influential men who have all allegedly threatened and bribed Somroo’s family to settle out of court. About a hundred spectators were also present, according to court journalists. “The room was jam-packed, people crowding at the back because everyone knew it was a rape case.” noted a reporter from TheN ews International.

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