Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Very angry.

Rape law rankles some Pakistan lawmakers
Tue Sep 5, 5:25 PM ET

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Lawmakers from a coalition of six Islamic groups threatened on Tuesday to vacate their parliamentary seats if Pakistan's government changes a rape law criticized by human rights activists.

A walkout by the 68 lawmakers could destabilize the government of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, criticized by Islamic parties since his ruling party last month presented a bill to amend the law in a bid to protect women's rights.

Pakistan's National Assembly has 344 members. A walkout could force by-elections.

Under the current law, approved by a former military dictator in 1979, prosecuting a rape case requires testimony from four witnesses, making punishment almost impossible because such attacks are rarely public.

A woman who claims she was raped but fails to prove her case can be convicted of adultery, punishable by death.

Maulana Fazalur Rahman, a leader of the Islamic coalition, said Tuesday that lawmakers in his group would vacate their seats in the National Assembly if the government tries to get the assembly's approval to change the law.

"We will render every sacrifice for the protection of the Shariah (traditional Islamic) laws," he said at a news conference.

However, the ruling Pakistan Muslim Party — which has a majority in the assembly — has praised Musharraf for taking steps to amend the law and end the four-witness requirement.

Ready for a Bryn Mawr moment? Great. I absolutely cannot believe this garbage is going on to this date. I am doing the typing equivalent of sputtering in sheer anger. Let me just put it this way, if the Islamic Coalition vacates their seats, I'm not complaining. Incidentally, I hope these guys enjoy heat because they are going to be chilling with Warren Jeffs in that special place in hell. I'm so frustrated, I don't even know what to do. I know what I'm not going to do though: go to Pakistan.

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