In the name of honor

From The Sunday Telegraph:

Mai_4 At gunpoint she was taken into a stable. Her clothes were ripped off and she was violated by four village elders. The ordeal lasted about half an hour and, when it was over, she was dragged out, semi-naked, in front of all the village men. Her father covered her with a shawl and carried her home. Mukhtar, who is also known as Mukhtaran Bibi, should then have killed herself. That was the custom. But such was her sense of outrage and injustice that she refused to commit suicide; and that act of defiance started a sequence of events that turned her into an international cause cilhbre, who was first praised and then condemned by Pakistan’s president, Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Mukhtar, an illiterate peasant, is an unlikely heroine. The crime committed against her is not uncommon in an area benighted by poverty, acts of brutality against women and the rule of thuggish overlords. But she has refused to be cowed by the pressure put upon her, by local officials right up to the president, to end her campaign against the men who raped her. She wants them to be hanged. “I will never forgive them,” she said yesterday. “They must be punished according to the law.”

This week, she publishes the autobiography she dictated, In the Name of Honour, which will again stir up the controversy over all that has happened to her. It took some persuading to get her to tell her story, and for the slight, shy 35-year-old with a lazy eye and a rare but wheezy laugh, recounting the events of that night, five years ago, is still painful.

More here.