Friday, June 17, 2005

Mukhtaran Bibi Still Not Allowed to Travel

She is the Pakistani woman who was gang-raped in punishment for her brother's behavior, as a form of tribal justice. She then went on to fight the case in courts, to win and to give the money away for starting schools. She wanted to travel abroad to talk about her experiences and the Pakistan government stopped her by house arrest and by putting her on the list of people not allowed to leave the country. The government then released her and assured that she was no longer on the banned list but her passport was not returned. Right now she is back in her village, without a passport.

Amnesty International says this about her case:

Ms. Mukhtaran, who late last week was in effect put under house arrest and then disappeared, only to show up a day later at a press conference and state her intent to forego her invitation to the United States, was victimized first by her attackers and again by her recent treatment at the hands of her own government. This same government refused to intervene in her case at the time of her rape until it was shamed into action by international pressure.

Tom Watson is keeping an eagle's eye on all this.