India: Stop attacks on witnesses & lawyers of India's 8-Year-Old Rape Victim from Kathua

Stop attacks on witnesses & lawyers of India's 8-Year-Old Rape Victim from Kathua

Witnesses and lawyers representing the 8-year-old Muslim girl who was gang-raped and murdered in Kathua, India, this year, are being attacked and intimidated, as the trial unfolds.

We need to put a stop to this! Join Apne Aap and Equality Now to ask Prime Minister Modi to ensure that justice is not denied to her family!

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Despite the brutal nature of the crime committed by powerful men against an innocent child, some groups have politicized the case by presenting it falsely as a case against the Hindu community. They are running media trials, trolling, filing false cases, deflecting blame and holding rallies in support of the perpetrators and against the lawyers. Some of these rallies have been attended by ministers from the Prime Minister's ruling party. 

They are even hounding the entire nomadic shepherd community of Bakarwals, that the little girl belonged to. Attempts were been made to physically prevent the charges against the accused rapists being filed in court and later to weaken the investigation by shifting it to the CBI. 

Though an increasing number of rape cases are being reported in India every day, survivors of sexual violence struggle to get justice within the legal system. Between 2015 and 2016 alone there was an 82% spike in reported rapes of children. Another 133,000 rape cases were pending trial in the same year.

Raise your voice to demand a fair and impartial trial in the Kathua case, so that the family of the 8-year-old gets justice. Insist that the Modi government take immediate action to stop the intimidation and to address the larger systemic problem of sexual violence within the country.

Call on Prime Minister Modi to: 

  • Take steps to ensure that a fair trial of the Kathua rape and murder case can take in place in an unbiased atmosphere
  • Provide protection to all those associated with the case including the witnesses, victim’s family and lawyers.
  • Stop politically motivated media campaigns and rallies held to support the accused or malign the lawyers and witnesses and allow the law to take its own course
  • Resist the continuing demands of the accused to shift the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), despite the fact that no fault can be found with the investigation done by the J and K police. Any attempt to shift the investigation at this late stage would hamper investigations and affect the trial and demoralize the police in J and K and would only benefit the accused
  • Effectively enforce and implement existing laws on sexual violence and allocate adequate resources to combat sexual violence.
  • Implement all the recommendations made by the Justice Verma Committee, including police reforms, reforms in the management of cases related to crime against women, and education reforms, most of which are yet to be implemented.
  • Address impunity at all levels, by bringing perpetrators of all such crimes to justice, without political bias.
  • Issue a clear directive from your office that the harassment, character assassination, arrests of any lawyers and witnesses in the trail will be punishable as tampering and intimidation.

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