Appeal to be filed in Meerwala case: Rashid
ISLAMABAD, March 6,2005: Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday said that the government would file an appeal in the Supreme Court in the Mukhtaran Mai case.
Talking to reporters at the PML House, the minister said the decision to file the appeal against the Lahore High Court’s verdict had been taken at the ‘highest level’.-APP
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference, Mukhtaran said that she would file an appeal in the Supreme Court against Thursday’s acquittal of five men who had earlier been sentenced to death for the assault.
“I hope that the Supreme Court will give me justice, otherwise I leave it to the God’s court,” she said at the press conference arranged by rights groups here.
Mukhtaran was raped for more than an hour at the Meerwala village in the Multan district in June 2002, as punishment for her brother’s alleged affair with a woman of the rival Mastoi clan. “Although I am facing threats from my attackers, I will not leave my village and country,” she said.
Human rights groups criticized the government and police after the Lahore High Court overturned the convictions of the five men. They said authorities had failed to protect witnesses to the assault, meaning the court had no choice but to uphold the appeals.
“The verdict has shocked me. I had no idea that the court will reverse the punishments,” Mukhtaran said.
The rape case had sparked international outrage. Later the same year an anti-terrorism court had sentenced six men to death by hanging and acquitted another eight defendants.
Mukhtaran’s appeal against the acquittal of the eight was also rejected by the court on Friday.