|Tell Pakistani Authorities to Uphold Justice for Mukhtar Mai and Women Worldwide|
February 6, 2009
In 2002, a young woman in Pakistan named Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped as punishment for her 12-year-old brother's alleged affair with a woman of a higher clan. Because of Mai's determination to seek justice, the 13 accused were detained, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan is poised to hear the case next week.
A sitting Federal Minister of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Sardar Mohammed Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi, has pressured Mukhtar Mai to drop charges against the 13 men, and has threatened to influence the decision of the Supreme Court in favor of her perpetrators.
Mukhtar Mai has been honored by Time and Glamour magazines, and received a special award at the International Women's Health Coalition's (IWHC's) 2006 gala for her strength, courage, and leadership. In this urgent situation, we ask you to call or write or fax letters to the Pakistani authorities listed below to ensure Mai's safety and hold the Minister accountable for his actions. If you plan to fax or email letters, please use the text below or write your own note:
We are gravely concerned that Federal Minister, Mr. Sardar Abdul Qayyum, has pressured Mukhtar Mai - a bastion of human rights worldwide - to drop charges against the accused in her case, scheduled for hearing in the second week of February 2009. We believe that the Minister's message is an indirect threat to the life of Mukhtar Mai.
We urge you to:
Ensure Mukhtar Mai's case is processed without any political pressure or influence;
Take special and urgent measures to ensure Mukhtar Mai's safety and security before, during, and after the hearing; and
Hold the Federal Minister accountable for his interference in an adjudicated matter and for threatening the safety of Mukhtar Mai and her family.
Mr. Rehman Malik
Ms. Sherry Rehman
Mr. Salman Tasseer