A teenage girl from Pakistan faces a sentence of death by stoning after she reported being brutally raped in her family home in Rajanpur, on Friday.
The 19-year-old claims her cousin, Khalil Ahmed, placed a gun to her head and demanded she not cry out as he viciously raped her. The victim reported the rape to the village panchayat, a tribal council of Islamic elders operating outside of the government. The council, which was comprised of local men, including the father of her attacker, deemed the girl a Kari, or an adulteress, and accused the victim of seducing her cousin.
Consequently, the young girl was sentenced to death by stoning or to be sold off, reports The Hindustan Times. The alleged rapist was let off the hook.
The girl’s father said he was forced into accepting the decision by the panchayat.
“Since the panchayat declared her liabale to be killed, he had to accept the decision as it was the tradition of his village,” said an police official.
The victim, on the other hand, did not accept the sentence, escaping to her uncle’s home where she reported the incident to the police.
“I could not raise an alarm as Ahmed was holding a gun. But the panchayat refused to accept my statement and declared that I wilfully slept with him,” she told Fazilpur Police on Saturday.
An investigation has been launched into the rape and warrants have been issued for the alleged rapist and the village council members who sentenced the victim to death; the girl has been placed in a “government safe house.”
As noted by The Hindustan Times, so-called “honor killings,” such as the girl’s sentence in this case, are typically sanctioned through the local panchayat in Pakistan to help restore the reputation to the girl’s family, though they have “no legal standing.”