News / Asia

Outspoken Pakistani Rape Victim to Appeal Supreme Court Decision

Members of a Pakistani civil society hold a protest against a supreme court decision regarding the 2002 rape case of Mukhtar Mai,  April 23, 2011, in Karachi, Pakistan.
Members of a Pakistani civil society hold a protest against a supreme court decision regarding the 2002 rape case of Mukhtar Mai, April 23, 2011, in Karachi, Pakistan.



A Pakistani woman who became internationally known for pressing charges against the men who gang raped her in 2002 is speaking out again.

Last week, Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed Mukhtar Mai's appeal against the acquittal of five men who raped her. The court ordered the five men to be freed, but upheld a life sentence for another defendant in the case.

Outspoken Pakistani Rape Victim to Appeal Supreme Court Decision
Outspoken Pakistani Rape Victim to Appeal Supreme Court Decision

Since then, Mai has told media outlets that she plans to file an appeal against the court's ruling.

She says she was raped on the orders of a local council after her younger brother allegedly had illicit relations with a woman from another clan.  Today, Mukhtar Mai runs a school in her village of Meerwala and works to promote the rights of women.

VOA spoke to her just after the latest legal ruling in the nine-year-long case.

Speaking through interpretor Madeeha Anwar, she told VOA’s Sarah Williams the court's decision is bad for all Pakistani women.

“She’s saying that she’s really sad on this decision and this is a bad decision by the supreme government.”

You have said that you are concerned following this decision, concerned about your own safety, and that of your family. Why?

“She’s saying because the landlords of the area, they are very powerful, they can do anything, they can harm them, her school is under danger, her staff is under danger because there is no law for them, so that’s why she said so.”

Listen to the entire interview here:

What does this latest court decision do for women's rights in Pakistan?

“She said she wanted to raise her voice for justice, but when she didn’t get the justice she thinks that no women in Pakistan can get the justice.”

You made the decision a number of years ago to go public with this case. Why?

“Because she is saying that whatever happened to me happened but I wanted that the other women were safe, so I wanted to raise my voice for them.”

Given the controversy about this legal case, would you ever consider leaving  Pakistan and going to live somewhere else where you might be more safe?

“She’s saying the question of leaving Pakistan is out of the question. I never had such intentions. If I wanted to leave my country, I could have done that in 2002, I had many offers, I have many social welfare work there, I have some schools, shelter homes, and not Pakistan, not even my small town.”

I would be interested to hear about your work now. I believe that you work with schools. What kind of work do you do?

“She’s saying that she started her school in 2002, and she started with four girls and now she has three schools, one was damaged in the floods last year but one is now a high school and it has like 650 girls in it and one is a primary school for boys, it has 300 boys there.”

Finally, everybody in the world is increasingly becoming familiar with new media, such as Twitter and Facebook.  Have these social media sites made any impact on the publicity surrounding your case?

“She’s saying she’s also using this media, she cannot use it herself but she asks other people to check it for her, and she has started using for the past two, three months, and she’s saying obviously in this era, these things have their importance and she fully wants to utilize this.”

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America