Anger as Pakistan police chief seems to blame alleged victim for rape

Fury after Pakistan police chief ‘victim blames’ mother who was gang-raped in front of her two children because she was out with a male guardian

  •  French mother to blame for her rape Pakistani police chief Umar Sheikh appears to say
  •  Victim allegedly attacked by several men in front of her two children
  •  Police chief’s comments criticised by politicians and activists
  •  Strong calls for Umar Sheikh to resign due to his comments

A police chief in Pakistan is facing a growing backlash after he seemed to blame the victim of an alleged gang rape because she was driving without a male companion at night.

Lahore police chief Umar Sheikh repeatedly criticised the victim for failing to take a male friend.

The victim was allegedly assaulted and raped by several men in front of her two children when she ran out of petrol outside of Lahore late on Wednesday.

Police chief Umar Sheikh told AFP that no-one in Pakistani society would ‘allow their sisters and daughters to travel alone so late.’

He added that the woman, a resident of France, probably ‘mistook that Pakistani society is just as safe’ as her home country.

Pakistani police chief Umar Sheikh heavily criticised for comments which appear to blame alleged rape victim for attack

Pakistani politician, Shireen Mazari, the Human Rights Minister, has criticised his remarks.

She said, according to AFP, that ‘Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape.’

Khadija Siddiqi, a lawyer and women’s rights activist, told AFP that the police chief’s comments were part of an unfortunate and very rampant culture of victim blaming in Pakistan. 

Sheikh’s comments have sparked calls for his resignation and protests are planned in cities across Pakistan today.

Nighat Dad, a women’s rights activist and an organisers of an annual women’s rights march in Lahore, added: ‘We are angry, we demand his removal and we demand his apology.’

A patriarchal code of honour governors much of Pakistan life which is in favour of the oppression of women by stopping them from doing certain things, like choosing their on husband.

Deadly violence by men, usually male relatives, against those women who break the taboo  have been attacked by activists.

In Pakistan around 1,000 people, mainly women, are murdered yearly in honour killings for bringing shame onto a family.

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