From the Islamic Republic of Pakistan comes news of what local police are calling an "honour crime" -- the "revenge rape" of a 16-year-old girl in retribution for her brother's rape of another girl. (Reuters) - Pakistani police have arrested 25 members of an informal village council accused of ordering the rape of a 16-year-old girl as revenge for her brother's alleged sexual assault of another girl. But wait (as Vince Offer used to say), there's more. The first assailant's father is a brother of the second assailant's grandfather. So that's two rapes in two days, all in one extended family.
The rapes took place in a small village called Muzaffarabad, a suburb of the city of Multan, in Punjab province. Ahsan Younus, chief of Multan's police department, told the meeja, "They are victims and accused at the same time.... It’s barbaric."
As indeed it is. But the case is far from shocking. Such honour crimes still take place in some parts of Pakistan and India, and are not unknown in the USA and Canada, where "refugees" and other immigrants have brought the barbaric customs and practices of their native lands -- female genital mutilation, for example -- with them.
Earlier this month, a local council, known in local languages as a panchayat or jirga, was called after a family accused a 16-year-old boy of raping a 13-year-old neighbour. The council ruled that the sister of the boy should be handed over to the victim's brother to be raped. An eye for an eye, or in this case... well, never mind. The girl was duly handed over by her family, and the punishment was carried out on July 17th.
The case came to light a couple of days later, when both families filed criminal charges with police, each accusing the other family's son of rape. Questioning both sides in the cases soon revealed the role of the informal village council, according to Chief Younus. "All the village council elders who ordered the revenge rape have been arrested," he said. "A total of 29 people were involved in this ghastly crime, and we have 25 of them in our custody." Both the victims and their mothers have been sent to a women's protection center, he added, without explaining what would happen when the women eventually return to their village.