Gang-rape victim lives life of isolation after viral video

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A recent BBC report highlights a rape in Pakistan that went viral, coming to light when a reader shared the video with BBC Urdu with a plea for help.

Sadia*, the victim, remained silent at first. Only when the video of her being gang-raped became widely circulated did she have the courage to approach the authorities. Four suspects have been arrested, with the trial underway. So far though, the video remains out there as she stays shut at home due to the stigma the act entails.

The above raises the bigger question about how many more such victims continue to suffer in silence. More importantly, it raises questions about cyber crime laws and their inability to protect the citizens’ basic rights.

According to the report, with the rise in access to technology across Pakistan, the video continues being shared via Bluetooth and Facebook, it is alleged. Needless to say, there is no pertinent legislation to prevent this from happening.

In a small village like Sadia’s, almost everyone may have seen the video. She has been forced to discontinue her studies, ashamed of having to face the society, despite being the victim.

“A lot of people are watching this video for fun, they see it as something interesting.” She says, despairingly.

The suspects are being prosecuted for kidnapping, gang-rape and distribution of pornography. Although police say that they have contacted the government to get the video deleted from websites, cyber crime experts say that no such law exists in Pakistan.

In such cases, the suspects are often tried under clauses from sexual harassment, defamation or criminal intimidation laws. Clauses on the violation of privacy from Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) are also invoked.

In light of the above, it is surprising to note that a holistic cyber crime ordinance had been allowed to lapse four years ago before it could become the law. With a lack of political or social will power to combat this issue, a new law could be a long way off.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Our country is going in to darkness because we are not following the order of Allah Almighty and Quran.Present condition is the victim of judgment day is near and I request to our government please take care of swam because your judgment is very long or what u gonna say in the front of Allah Almighty about yourself and my message to awam is

    “Plz respect the women”

    • A society can survive with Shirk, but it can not survive without justice. I am paraphrasing Hazrat Ali (R).
      No justice no peace. Those who think they are safe are not safe either. Because time it will be their daughter or mother Allah forbid. When Allah almighty's grip will come, here in this world and hereafter.
      We have must make collective repentance because we are all guilty.

    • The problem of your country is in fact that your whole State blindly follows 1400 years old scriptures, which blatantly disenfranchise any woman and contradicts all Human Rights.

  2. this case must be tried by army court at once, as this crime is 1000 folds sever than terrorism……………also arrest from patwari to ssp

  3. Do you really deny that Quran doesn't give women equal rights, like muslim men? ( 4 women, the right to beat your consort etc. etc. ) Yours, like any other religious book, reflects the cultural mindset of the land and time it comes from, in this case the (still today) extreme misogynistic Arabia, back in the 7th century. Now my question to you: How many unreported rapes and crimes against women happen daily in your country – all under the protection of religious texts, which treats women inferior?

  4. There does exist a cyber crime law and if the individual is witty, he/she can have the video deleted but here the video has passed through p2p protocol and thus cannot be curtailed. My sympathies for the girl and family.

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