Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered rearrest of 13 gang-rape case suspects

Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered 13 suspects in a high-profile gang-rape case re-arrested Tuesday and overturned lower court rulings that had acquitted them, court officials and a lawyer in the case said. On Monday a Pakistani woman Mukhtaran Mai who was gang-raped on tribal council orders took her case from her village to Pakistani capital Islamabad, demanding the Supreme Court reinstate the death penalty against five of her alleged attackers.

After the Tuesday’s decision of the Supreme Court Mai told reporters, that she was happy and she hoped those who humiliated her would be punished.

Mukhtaran Mai, 36, has won international praise three years ago for having the courage to speak out about the assault.

In June 2002 Mai was gang-raped for more than an hour on the orders of a tribal council of the village of Meerwala, about 350 miles southwest of Islamabad, as punishment for an alleged affair by Mai's 13-year-old brother with a woman from the rival Mastoi clan. Mai says the allegation was fabricated to cover up a sexual assault against her brother by men from the Mastoi clan, says AP.

Rights activists have accused the Pakistani government of trying to silence her, and she was barred by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf from visiting the United States to talk about her case. The government lifted the ban last week after the United States protested.

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