BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Pakistan stoning sentence overturned
Village women
Rights groups say women suffer under Islamic laws

An Islamic court in Pakistan has acquitted a woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Zafran Bibi leaving the court after her acquittal
Bibi was charged after registering a rape case

Zafran Bibi was present in the federal shariah (Islamic) court in the capital, Islamabad, when the three-judge bench announced its verdict.

She was brought specially from prison in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) on the orders of the court, which wanted to hear her side of the story.

And after hearing her patiently, it set aside the conviction and ordered her immediate acquittal.

Rights controversy

The harsh sentence on Zafran Bibi, a village woman from Kohat district in NWFP, had sparked a bitter controversy in the country, with human rights groups demanding the repeal of controversial Islamic laws.

Map showing Kohat in NWFP

These groups say they clearly discriminate against women.

Zafran Bibi originally went to the police two years ago to register a case of rape.

But instead, she herself was charged with having an adulterous affair.

She gave birth to a son while her husband was in prison, and a court in the conservative town of Kohat found her guilty of adultery.

Under the country's Islamic laws, she was sentenced to death by stoning.

Following widespread criticism by human rights groups, President Musharraf gave an assurance that the sentence would not be carried out.

And after a brief hearing, the country's highest Islamic court has now overturned the lower court's decision.

But human rights groups say there are numerous cases in which victims of rape have been charged with adultery under the controversial Islamic laws.

They say unless these laws are repealed, their misuse will continue, and women will largely be the victims.

Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

06 May 02 | South Asia
19 Apr 02 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes