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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 13:10 GMT
Rape victim appeals to Musharraf
Mukhtar Mai (r) arrives with advisor to address the press conference
Ms Mai wants her attackers to be shown no mercy
The victim of a gang rape in Pakistan has appealed to President Pervez Musharraf to re-arrest four men set free by the Lahore High Court.

Mukhtar Mai told a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday that she felt "threatened" by the release of the men.

The court ruled there was insufficient evidence and incorrect investigation procedures in the case.

They have now returned to the village where the attack occurred and where Mukhtar Mai still lives, police said.

'Not for myself'

"To me, justice means those who raped me should die by hanging," Ms Mai said.

She said that she was not fighting only for herself.

"I am doing it because I know it will be a lesson for other people if those who raped me are hanged."

Ms Mai met Pakistan's interior minister on Thursday to request the re-arrest of her alleged attackers under the Maintenance of Public Order Act.

Thirty policemen were deployed on Wednesday to her village in the province of Punjab after they were released.

Mukhtar Mai
To me, justice means those who raped me should die by hanging
Mukhtar Mai

She was raped in 2002, allegedly on the orders of a tribal council to punish a crime attributed to her brother.

The Supreme Court ordered the release of the men on Tuesday, two weeks after another court upheld their appeals.

The four left the high-security jail in Dera Ghazi Khan, 500km (300 miles) from the capital, Islamabad, to return to the village of Meerwala, about 65km away.

Ms Mai, 33, earlier wrote to the government calling for the men to be taken back into custody until the Supreme Court decides the case.

Fourteen people were originally accused of being involved in the case but eight of them were found not guilty in August 2002.

The remaining six were sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court.

The defendants' appeal to the Lahore High Court was heard two weeks ago and five of the six were acquitted.

The death sentence of the sixth was commuted to life.

The acquitted man not yet released has been detained on unrelated charges, officials said.

The acquittals shocked human rights groups, sparking country-wide protests.




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