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Sunday, August 30, 2015

RAPE PUNISHMENT


Brian May and Richard Dawkins are among the famous names condemning a decision by an all-male village council ordering that the sisters be raped


More than 100,000 Brits have now signed a petition to save two Indian sisters from being raped – as a punishment for their brother running off with a married woman.
Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her 15-year-old sister have fled their home after an unelected all-male village council made the order.
The council also demanded the sisters were paraded naked with blackened faces to humiliate them for their brother's actions.
Amnesty International condemned the "disgusting" ruling as celebrities rallied behind the petition.
Rachel AlcockAmnesty UK's Urgent Action Coordinator, said: "Rape is a revolting crime, not a punishment. It’s no wonder this disgusting 'sentence' has provoked global outrage."
"These Khap courts routinely order vile sexually violent punishments against women," she continued. "India’s Supreme Court has rightly declared such orders illegal.
"The government of Uttar Pradesh has an urgent duty to keep this family safe.
"There must also be a proper, independent investigation into these barbaric and illegal orders which apparently continue to be issued by the khap panchayat courts."
More than 100,000 people in the UK have called for protection of the sisters in an Amnesty petition within just a few days of it going live.
Queen legend Brian May is among those condemning the ruling.
The 68-year-old rocker tweeted: "Unbelievable. How do we combat the mountain of evil in our world? Step by step, stone by stone, day by day."
Author and atheist Richard Dawkins also joined calls to get the brutal punishment stopped.
He wrote on the social media site: "Indian sisters to be raped as 'punishment' for brother eloping. This time it really truly IS nothing to do with Islam."
He added: "They’re female: property of their brother. Raping them’s punishment for his stealing another man’s female property."
Scottish actor Douglas Henshaw also tweeted his disgust.
Alongside a link to the petition, he said: "This is utterly abhorrent. Two sisters in India to be raped as punishment. Demand justice!"
According to news site Zee Media, the sisters' brother Ravi fell in love with a girl from the Jat caste, a higher social caste than Ravi and his family, who are Dalit.
Dalits were once known as the 'untouchables' and are at the bottom of India's caste system.
The Jat woman's family married her off to someone else in February – but she later escaped and eloped with Ravi in March.
As punishment, on July 31 a village council decided Ravi's sisters – from Baghpat village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh – should be raped to avenge his actions.
Sumit Kumar, another brother of Meenakshi, told Amnesty that members of the Jat caste were powerful members of the village council, saying: "The Jat decision is final."
His family fears for their lives if they return. Meenakshi has filed a petition with India's Supreme Court asking for protection.
They are also worried about the safety of the Jat woman, who is believed to be pregnant with Ravi's child.
Sign the Amnesty International petition urging the Principal Secretary of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, to take action









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