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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Gang rape acquittals challenged
Mukhtar Mai presenting her lawyers with garlands of currency notes
Lawyers for Ms Mai (left) filed appeals after the defence
The Pakistani gang rape victim, Mukhtar Mai, is seeking to overturn the acquittal of eight out of the 14 men accused of raping her or ordering her rape.


I want to see them hanged for what they did to me

Mukhtar Mai

An appeal was filed on Thursday at the Multan bench of the Lahore High Court by Ms Mai's lawyer, Ramzan Khalid Joiya.

The appeal came after Ms Mai told journalists in her lawyer's office in Multan on Wednesday that she had reservations about the acquittals although, on the whole, she was satisfied with the judgment.

An an anti-terrorism court in Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province pronounced its verdict last weekend, sentencing the four rapists and two members of the local village council who had ordered the rape, to death.

The BBC's Shahid Malik in Lahore says the senior defence lawyer, Malik Muhammad Saleem, has already challenged the conviction of the six men in two separate appeals filed on Tuesday.

Additional appeal

RK Joiya acted as the Special Public Prosecutor during the trial at the anti-terrorism court in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Ms Mai's lawyer told reporters in Multan that in the appeal filed on Thursday he had requested the conviction of the eight men acquitted by the court.

He said these eight men had been guilty of abetment.

He also filed another appeal asking for the conviction of the men under a separate law, which prescribes the death penalty for exposing a woman in public.

This appeal accuses the men of stripping Ms Mai and sending her home semi-naked after she had been gang raped.

Joint hearing

Ms Mai's case shocked Pakistan after it became known that she had been gang raped by order of a village council as a punishment for her brother Abdul Shakoor's alleged affair with a woman from the influential Mastoi tribe.

Mukhtar Mai with brother Abdul Shakoor
Ms Mai's brother Abdul Shakoor was a victim too

Her pleas to the council, in Punjab's Muzaffargarh district, to forgive her brother fell on deaf ears; instead, the council ordered her to be gang raped by four Mastoi men.

On Wednesday, Ms Mai told the AFP news agency that those acquitted by the court were very much part of the council that had ordered her rape, and should be punished.

"I want to see them hanged for what they did to me," she was quoted as saying.

Correspondents say with the new appeal being filed on Thursday, her hopes may come close to fruition.

All the appeals are likely to be heard jointly by the Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court next week.

See also:

03 Sep 02 | South Asia
01 Sep 02 | South Asia
01 Sep 02 | South Asia
22 Jul 02 | South Asia
05 Jul 02 | South Asia
27 Mar 02 | South Asia
07 Mar 02 | South Asia
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