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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 June, 2005, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Rape victim anger at police guard
Mukhtar Mai
Mukhtar Mai demands to see her lawyer in Islamabad
The victim of a notorious Pakistan gang rape says she is being prevented from moving freely or leaving the country.

Mukhtar Mai, gang raped allegedly on the orders of a tribal council in 2002, demanded the restrictions be lifted.

On Friday a court ordered that 12 men imprisoned in connection with the case must be released by Monday.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told reporters in Islamabad that any security measures in place were for the protection of Ms Mai.

Brother's 'crime'

Ms Mai, 36, said she had suddenly appeared on a government list of people prevented from leaving Pakistan.

"I urge the government to lift restrictions and allow me to see my lawyer [in Islamabad]," Ms Mai told the Reuters news agency by telephone from Meerwala, the village in Punjab province where the rape took place.

Police deployed at my home for my protection are not allowing me to go anywhere
Mukhtar Mai

But Mr Aziz said: "Whatever we are doing is to protect her."

Ms Mai was gang raped allegedly on the orders of a tribal council to punish a crime attributed to her brother.

The case brought women's rights in Pakistan under international focus.

It has become bogged down in a number of appeals and counter-appeals over the men's guilt.

At present 12 men are behind bars following a ruling by the Punjab provincial government in March that ordered their detention for 90 days.

That period ends on Monday and the Lahore High Court ruled on Friday that there were no grounds for extending their detention.

Ms Mai has said she will try to get the authorities to prevent the men's release.

This is the latest twist in a number of legal developments:

  • 2002: Six men sentenced to death, eight acquitted

  • March 2005: Lahore High Court acquits five men, and reduces death sentence on sixth to life in prison

  • March 2005: Sharia court suspends Lahore High Court decision

  • March 2005: Prime Minister Aziz orders re-arrest of four of the accused

  • March 2005: Punjab government arrests 12 men originally implicated in case

  • June 2005: Lahore High Court says 12 men must be released




SEE ALSO:
Releases ordered in rape case
10 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Pakistan rape-case men rearrested
18 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Rape victim appeals to Musharraf
17 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Rape-victim village given guards
16 Mar 05 |  South Asia
The rape victim who fought back
08 Mar 05 |  South Asia


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