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Village Elders In Pakistan Order Rape Of Teenage Girl (Photos)

| by Michael Howard

A group of elders in a village in Pakistan ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl as an act of revenge against her brother, who is alleged to have raped another girl.

Police have since arrested 20 people in connection with both crimes, which took place in the town of Muzaffarabad in southern Pakistan.

The ordeal began with the rape of the first victim, who was 12 years old. A member of her family approached the village council and explained that the victim had been assaulted by a cousin.

Elder members of both families convened and discussed the issue, ultimately deciding that the first victim's brother should carry out a revenge attack against the alleged rapist's teenage sister.

"A jirga [village council] had ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl as punishment, as her brother had raped a 12-year-old," police officer Allah Baksh told AFP, according to the BBC.

The police report states that the elders threatened to kill the second victim's family when they attempted to intervene.

"Her mothers and sisters all protested this but the elders brought out their guns and threatened to kill them," the report said, according to CNN.

Following the second attack, the mothers of both victims filed complaints with the local police. Separate medical exams confirmed that both girls were raped.

Police have apprehended most of the suspects against whom the complaint was filed. However, the man accused of raping the 12-year-old is still at large.

Both victims were taken to the Violence Against Women Center in Multan.

Salman Sufi, who runs the center, told CNN that he has seen dozens of rape victims since March.

"Since March 2017, in the four months since the center was formed, it has received and resolved 38 cases of rape in this region alone," he said, adding: "The Punjab government will make sure that this case will go to court and that justice will be done."

It is unclear as to whether the group of elders that ordered the rape was a tribal court known as a jirga or simply composed of members of the two related families.

Jirgas are still common in rural areas of Pakistan, despite the fact that they are illegal. Their methods of resolving disputes, which include "honor killings" and "revenge rapes," have provoked international outrage over the years.

For example, in 2002, a jirga called for the gang rape of 28-year-old Mukhtar Mai after her 12-year-old brother was alleged to have had a sexual relationship with an older woman from another tribe. Later on it was revealed that her brother had been falsely accused.

Mai received death threats following her rape.

"First of all, there was the rape, and afterwards when I tried to call the police, I received death threats that I would be killed if I went to a police station," she told CNN in 2013.

Sources: BBC, CNN / Photo Credit: Muhammad Iqbal/Wikimedia Commons, AFP/Getty Images via CNN

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