TWO armed robbers have been sentenced to death for the gang rape of a woman in front her two terrified children.

By Tariq Tahir

Abid Malhi and Shafqat Hussain broke into the French woman’s car after it had ran out of gasoline on a motorway in Pakistan, in a case that shocked the country.

An outpouring of anger in Pakistan was further fuelled by a police chief blaming the victim for driving at night without a male companion.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan at the time said convicted rapists should be publicly hanged or surgically castrated.

Abid Malhi has been sentenced to death for the rape Credit: Police Handout
Shafqat Ali has also been handed a death sentence Credit: Police Handout

The two men were convicted of gang rape, kidnapping, robbery and terrorism offences, according to a written order released by a judge in the eastern city of Lahore.

“They’ve both been handed the death penalty,” Chaudhry Qasim Arain, a lawyer for both men said after the verdict and sentencing hearing.

According to the prosecutor and police, Malhi and Ali found the woman waiting for help after her car ran out of fuel on September 9 last year.

She had called her relatives who advised her to call the motorway emergency numbers and also set off to help her.

The case caused outrage in Paksitan Credit: Reuters

The woman locked the car doors but the attackers broke a window and dragged her outside where they raped her at gunpoint in front of her children.

The men also stole money, jewelry, and bank cards before fleeing.

The day after the attack Lahore police chief Umar Sheikh repeatedly berated the victim for driving at night without a man, adding that no one in Pakistani society would “allow their sisters and daughters to travel alone so late”.

The two man were tracked down via mobile phone data and arrested days after the incident.

DNA samples taken from the crime scene matched theirs and the traumatized survivor identified the two men.

In the conservative nation victims of sexual abuse are often too afraid to speak out and criminal complaints are frequently not investigated seriously.

The country has an abysmal rape conviction rate, with official data putting it as low as 0.3 percent.

In response, at the end of last year, Pakistan introduced a new rape law, creating create special courts in a bid to speed up prosecutions and setting up a national sex offender registry.

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