Court sentences man to life imprisonment for raping own wife

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A court in Pakistan’s conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has sentenced a man(namewithheld) to life imprisonment for raping his wife, the victim’s lawyer said.

Local reports said the victim was still living in her parents’ house, as the marriage ceremony had only been performed spiritually at the time of the offence, but not as a civil ceremony.

According to the lawyer, the man had kidnapped the underage young girl and kept her in his house for several days after the abduction and raped her.

The lawyer said the man was sentenced to life imprisonment for both rape and abduction and was additionally fined.

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“This is the first decision of its kind in the province,” the lawyer, Mian Safeer, said.

The decision was announced by a court that deals with cases of gender-based violence in the north-western region of the country.

The lawyer added that the court’s decision was an important step towards strengthening women’s rights in the country.

Violence against women is a recurring problem in Pakistan.

It is a society often characterised by patriarchal norms in a country with a population of more than 240 million.

Marital rape has been an official criminal offence in the South Asian country since 2021.

The first conviction of marital rape was reported in January when a court sentenced a man to three years in prison.

An underage marriage often arranged by guardians and rooted in long-standing cultural and societal traditions, is common in Pakistan.

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