Politics

Pakistani court bans intrusive rape test

A Pakistani court has banned the archaic “two-finger” test carried out by medical examiners to determine whether a woman was raped.

The invasive tests, carried out for the purposes of ascertaining if the victim is sexually active, “are declared to be illegal and against the Constitution,” said an order issued by the Lahore High Court.

The court asked authorities to take necessary steps to ensure that the test is not conducted as part of legal or medical examinations of the victims of rape and sexual abuse.

A group of rights activists, lawyers and academics asked the court to ban the practice through a public interest petition saying the test was disrespectful, inhumane, and violated fundamental rights.

Hundreds of women are raped in Pakistan each year, but those who commit the assaults are rarely punished due to weak laws and complicated procedures for prosecution, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Rape victims are often accused of bringing the attack on themselves.

Many women remain silent and decline to file a police report to avoid being named and shamed by Pakistan’s conservative society.

Last month, Pakistan introduced a new anti-rape law that enables courts to order chemical castration of some offenders and allows special tribunals to be established for faster trials.

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