Written by on December 29, 2022

A court in Pakistan on Monday freed a convicted rapist after it was “agreed” he would marry his victim, his lawyer said.

Daulat Khan, 23, was convicted in May of raping the deaf woman, 36, in 2020 in the northeastern district of Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to his lawyer Amjad Ali Khan.

He was sentenced to life in prison and fined 100n,000 rupees (about $440), said the lawyer, who is not related to his client.

The woman later gave birth to a child as a result of the rape, the lawyer added.

The decision has outraged rights activists, who say it legitimises sexual violence against women in a country where a majority of rape goes unreported.

On Monday, the Peshawar High Court acquitted Daulat Khan after the two were legally married earlier in December following an out-of-court settlement made by a local “jirga” — a council of elderly men who make decisions based on Sharia law.

Sharia, also known as Islamic law, is an interpretation of the faith’s ​sacred texts and traditions that varies greatly across the Muslim world.

“It is against the basic principles of justice and the law of the land which does not recognise such an arrangement,” she told AFP.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said it was “appalled” by the ruling.

“Rape is a non-compoundable offence that cannot be resolved through a feeble ‘compromise’ marriage,” the group further tweeted.

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