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Pakistan village 'court' sentences woman to death for adultery for saying she was raped

The Independent logo The Independent 30/05/2017 Harriet Agerholm

© Provided by Independent Print Limited A teenager has reportedly been sentenced to death by a village council in Pakistan’s Punjab province for having a sexual relationship with her cousin.

The 19-year-old denied having consensual sex with him, saying her relative had raped her at gunpoint.

The woman said in a statement to police she and her family were asleep at their home in Rajanpur, a rural district in southwest Punjab, when her cousin came into the house and sexually assaulted her.

“I could not raise an alarm as [he] was holding a gun,” she told police, Press Trust of India reported. “But the panchayat refused to accept my statement and declared that I willfully slept with him.”

Panchayats – informal village justice systems that operate in remote areas of Pakistan – have been criticised for handing out cruel punishments for adultery. The sentences they give out have no legal standing.

The woman said the court took no action against her alleged rapist.

Four men, including the father of the alleged rapist, forced the council to sentence the woman to death, according to the Express Tribune.

Station house officer of Fazilpur Police Station Qaisar Hasnain told the Press Trust of India an official complaint about the incident had been filed and they would take the men into custody.

The woman has reportedly been taken to a government-run refuge in Rajanpur.

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