Two Indian sisters 'sentenced' to be raped and then paraded naked around the streets with their faces blackened, an unelected all-male village council known as a 'panchayat' ordered on 30 July, as retaliation to their brother eloping with a married girl from the upper-caste Jat community. Read the full story here.
The sisters and their family had already fled the village for fear of reprisals for their brother’s actions. Shortly after they left their house was ransacked. They are also worried about the safety of the Jat woman, who is now thought to be pregnant with their brother’s child.
The sisters had then petitioned the country's Supreme Court to be protected from the so-called "eye-for-an-eye" ruling from the village council in Uttar Pradesh. The supreme court of India has described them as ‘kangaroo courts’ and branded their decrees illegal, yet in some states they continue to operate and their punishments are carried out.
Humans Rights Organization, Amnesty International had also started a petition to save the sisters from being raped and publicly humiliated which is now signed by more than 100,000 people.
As quoted in The Telegraph, Rachel Alcock, Amnesty UK's urgent action coordinator said, "Rape is a revolting crime, not a punishment. It's no wonder this disgusting 'sentence' has provoked global outrage.
Amnesty International, who is running a campaign for the girls' protection, said, "Unelected village councils such as this are widespread in parts of India. More often than not they are made up of older men from dominant castes, who prescribe rules for social behaviour and interaction in villages."