Charging Rape, Facing Prison

When a young, illiterate housewife named Zafran Bibi went to Pakistani police last year, pregnant and claiming a fellow villager had raped her, she didn't expect that she'd be the one punished. But a judge in the ultraconservative Northwest Frontier province exonerated the man and last month convicted Zafran Bibi of adultery. Her sentence: death by public stoning. In Pakistan, victims of sex crimes are subject to harsh Islamic laws known as the Hudood ordinances. For a rapist to be found guilty, four adult male Muslims have to witness the crime, or the rapist must confess. If the court rules there...

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