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UPDATE 11 February 2013: Following the remand of the case from the High Court, on 31 January the lower court acquitted the defendants, including several police officers, in the gang rape case. This was not unexpected, given the High Court's determination that there was no conclusive evidence against the accused. We are concerned for the safety of Uzma and her family after this ruling as they will no longer have state protection and they have already been targeted for bringing the case. We are strategizing with partners about ways to protect her.
UPDATE 22 June 2012: On 19 June, the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan dismissed its December 2011 inquiry into this case. The court found that the DNA test results of Uzma’s baby did not match the men implicated in the gang-rape. In addition, it ordered Uzma to undergo multiple lie detector tests and found the results inconclusive. On 4 June, Equality Now wrote to the court expressing great concern about subjecting a rape victim to lie-detector testing which is psychologically damaging and, given the inconclusive nature of the results, highly prejudicial. Uzma's gang-rape case and her brother's murder case are still pending at the lower court and Equality Now and our partners are strategizing on next steps.
UPDATE 29 February 2012: Pressure from human rights groups and media prompted the Pakistani government to take action in the case of Uzma Ayub. Following the Peshawar High Court's call for thorough inquiries and strict action against all perpetrators and the police officers who failed to take action in both the rape and murder cases in December 2011, 14 people have been arrested in the rape case and 29 police officers have been suspended. The alleged murderer of Uzma's brother is still at large but 15 of his alleged co-conspirators have been arrested. For Uzma’s safety, the government has relocated her and her mother to Peshawar. On 19 January, Uzma gave birth to a baby girl. DNA samples have been taken from the baby and the alleged rapists and are being tested in order to identify the child's father. The next hearing in the rape case will be held after the results of the paternity test have been released.
|Uzma and child
Equality Now has just issued Urgent Alert: Equality Now calls on the Government of Pakistan to protect 16 year old gang-rape victim Uzma Ayub and ensure justice in her case. Equality Now is deeply concerned for the safety of 16 year old Uzma Ayub from Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. Uzma was kidnapped in 2010 and held for a year during which she was repeatedly gang raped by a number of individuals allegedly including police officers and a civilian member of the Pakistani Army. Uzma is currently 8 months pregnant as a result of the rapes. On 9 December 2011, Uzma and her 25 year old brother, who had been supporting her efforts for justice, were attacked outside the Karak court house. Uzma’s brother, Alamzeb Marwat, was brutally shot dead. Despite Uzma’s younger brother witnessing the attack and naming those involved as relatives of some of the accused police officers, the senior investigating police officer refused to take action, suggesting that it was difficult to ascertain who carried out the fatal attack. Following pressure from the media and local human rights groups, 5 men have now been arrested with one still at large.
Please join us in calling on Pakistani officials to ensure Uzma and her family’s immediate safety and to make certain that her case is fully and properly investigated and that all the perpetrators involved, including those who may have obstructed justice, are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, in accordance with Pakistan’s own Constitution and international obligations.