India: Investigate case of woman allegedly gang raped for 'falling in love with a Muslim man'
The authorities must investigate the alleged gang rape of a 20 year-old woman in Birbhum, West Bengal, on Monday and bring to justice those responsible, Amnesty International said.
The woman, from the adivasi ethnic group, was allegedly gang raped by 13 men on the orders of a khap panchayat , an unelected all-male village council, as a punishment for falling in love with a Muslim man.
Divya Iyer, Senior Researcher at Amnesty International India, said:
"The West Bengal police must thoroughly investigate this alleged gang rape, and bring to justice those responsible. The authorities must also ensure that the woman and her family receive immediate and adequate police protection.
“Any person found guilty of inciting violence against the woman must be held accountable.
“Khap panchayats notoriously issue extra-legal decrees ordering inhuman and sexually violent punishments against women, including 'honour' killings.
“The authorities must ensure that women's rights to choose their partners are respected and protected, and take steps to end discrimination and violence against women."