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Indian Court Lifts Media Ban on Gang Rape Trial

  • VOA News

A Delhi policeman stands guard near the gate of a district court where the accused in a gang rape are undergoing trial, in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2013.

A Delhi policeman stands guard near the gate of a district court where the accused in a gang rape are undergoing trial, in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2013.

An Indian court has ruled the media will be allowed to cover the trial of four men accused of the fatal gang rape and beating of a woman on a bus in New Delhi in December.

However, the court ruled Friday there will be restrictions on the coverage.

Journalists have been barred from entering the courtroom or reporting details of the trial, which is already under way in a special fast-track court in New Delhi.

According to the Press Trust of India, journalists will not be allowed to reveal the names of the victim or her family. There are also limitations on how many reporters will be allowed in the courtroom.

Five men and a juvenile were arrested shortly after the crime and were charged with the rape and murder of the 23-year-old student. One of the men was found hanging in his jail cell. A sixth suspect is being tried separately as a juvenile.

The court ruling Friday came a day after parliament passed a sweeping new law toughening punishment for sex offenders, including the death penalty if a victim dies.

The defendants are accused of beating the woman and her male companion with an iron rod and using the rusty rod during the sexual assault of the woman. She died of her injuries two weeks after the attack in a Singapore hospital, where she had been taken for treatment.

The woman's rape set off nationwide protests. Protesters have called for tougher rape laws, major police reforms and a transformation in the way India treats women.

The expedited proceedings in this case are in response to public outrage for the brutality of the attack. The special fast-track court was established to circumvent India's notoriously slow justice system.
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