A young woman was sexually assaulted by hundreds of men in a public park in Lahore. The scene was filmed and the very shocking images circulated around the country, causing great outrage even in the political sphere.
In Pakistan, images of a horrific collective aggression circulated around the country. It took place on August 14, 2021, Independence Day, in a park in Lahore very close to the country’s symbol, the Minar-e-Pakistan minaret. While filming herself for a TikTok video with friends, a young woman found herself assaulted by a dense crowd of men who pushed her around, ripped off her clothes, sexually assaulted her . The victim, whose escape was impossible, had jewelry, phone, money stolen. His friends were able to film the scene, the images of which are terrifying. Much of the Pakistani population demanded justice, and 400 potential men participating in the scene were arrested. The Pakistani Prime Minister himself spoke about the case, asking the police to make the arrests of the defendants. This same Prime Minister who had nevertheless declared about women raped in Pakistan : “If a woman wears very little clothing, it will have an impact on the man, unless it’s robots. It’s common sense.” reports Le Monde.
The situation of women in Pakistan
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TikTok has been banned from Pakistan numerous times, accused of conveying vulgar and inappropriate content. However, the app remains very popular in the country. This filmed assault gave rise to numerous testimonies from victims on the networks. Pakistan is one of the most hostile countries to women. Interviewed by Le Monde, Maria Amir, a researcher in the Department of Global Studies on Gender and Sexuality at the University of Buffalo in the United States, points out that “Pakistan is far from the only country where such violence occurs, but it is one of the few countries where society and the state apparatus offer perpetrators of violence against women a plethora of guarantees and apologies “.
In the country, women are organizing to support each other, especially through social networks. This is the case of the Soul Sisters Pakistan Facebook group, created to give Pakistani women the opportunity to discuss their personal problems. “Women in Pakistan are really, really strong. We have a voice. We just don’t have enough space to use that voice.”, says the creator of the group, Kanwal Ahmed. “I wanted this to be the kind of place where women really opened up without fear of being attacked, harassed or judged.”, she adds.