Saturday, July 12, 2014

Indian Village Council Orders Girl Raped

Here is my interview yesterday on "Voice of Russia." 

Yes, there are places in the world where people still use rape as a form of punishment. In this case, the "punished" girl was not the perpetrator of the crime, but the sister of the criminal. 

By Andrew Hiller
WASHINGTON (VR) – The idea that the sins of the brother shall be passed on to the sister is a particularly odd thought in the 21st Century. In Northern India, a fourteen year old girl was ordered raped by her own village council as retribution for the alleged actions of her brother. In this perverted case of tit for tat, the teen's brother's alleged actions (he has been accused of assaulting the wife of Birju Pasi) resulted in Pasi raping the young girl. The story, women's advocates say seems to point again to a trend against women and not just in India.

"Rape as a punishment... as a weapon of war has been used for the entire history of humanity," Ray Bechard, an activist, author and committee chair Men against Prostitution and Trafficking stated, "This is nothing new. People turning against it are new."
What may be new is that when the police chief of Jharkhand heard about the act he expressed public outrage and three people were arrested in association with both the order and the act.
"This (rape) happened five days ago." Bechard noted. "These people were arrested pretty quickly. There probably has to be some PR element to it, however, this (Jharkhand) police chief who arrested these people (suggests) the tide is turning."
Part of that turn, Bechard suggests, is due to the reaction by the world and in India to the gang rape and murder of a girl near Delhi in December of 2012. The act and the response of authorities stunned the world and shocked many in India. Bechard sees hope in the aftermath of this community ordered rape.
"The media has a large part to play in it and fortunately," Bechard said, "because so many individuals and individual communities have a voice through the internet and through cultures being connected... you know, just a few years ago, we may not have heard of this case at all. It may have been known in the local media. There may have been awareness of it locally. There may have been an outcry, but now there's a global outcry against it."
That outcry he says hopefully may have an impact on behavior at first on law enforcement, but eventually on the culture itself.
"The trend," Bechard said, "is more that we are more hearing about these actions taking place coming out of these villages and remote parts of India and other parts of the world and for the first time people en mass are responding against it."
Bechard also points the finger at himself. He says that activists, citizens, and all of us must stay engaged and refuse to remain a silent majority.
"Each time this happens we have to be made aware and certainly put pressure on governments and on individual rights' groups to say this has to stop. The human rights declaration of the UN has to be followed by members of the UN.”

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