Pak Teen Self-Immolates after Police Deny Gang-rape Claim Against Colleagues

A young Pakistani woman self-immolated after police refused to act on her claim she was gang-raped by their colleagues, officials and activists said yesterday.

Two officers have been arrested after Sonia Bibi, who was in her late teens, burnt herself Tuesday outside a police station in the Muzaffargarh district of central Punjab province. She was rushed to a hospital in the central city of Multan, but died of her injuries.

“Sonia had alleged that she was kidnapped and raped by two policemen but nobody registered this case despite her complaints. We have arrested the alleged rapists,” said a senior police official of the district.

Muzaffargarh is the same district as the village where a woman named Mukhtaran Mai was horrifically gang-raped in 2002 in an attack that made headlines around the world.

Mai yesterday told AFP that she was aware of Sonia Bibi’s death and said she believed the girl had been “denied justice”. Physical and sexual violence against women are widespread in Pakistan, a deeply conservative, patriarchal Muslim country.

Source: AFP

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