A Violation of Justice

Shaking behind her black chador, or veil, 18-year-old Makhutar Mai stood before a jury made up of men who hated her. Mai is a dairy farmer's daughter, a Tatla Gujjar, and the council members before her were all from a higher, landed caste group, the Mastoi Baloch. Mai's brother had dared to romance a girl from the higher caste, and in the dusty mid-day sun of rural Pakistani Punjab, a rowdy crowd gathered to demand eye-for-an-eye-style justice. The six seated elders finally delivered their judgment. To restore the caste's honor, they announced, Mai should be repeatedly raped. For the next hour,...

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