Lack of a Cyberlaw Framework Is Hurting Victims of Sexual Abuse

Recently, BBC Urdu conducted an investigation into the gang rape of a young woman in a remote village in Pakistan.

What makes the crime even more heinous is that the despicable act was filmed on a mobile phone and shared throughout villages, towns as well as on the internet.

The footage was used as a blackmail chip to keep the woman quiet. Then it was shared online and through bluetooth on mobile phones anyways.

With rapidly evolving technology that’s growing ever cheaper, Pakistan’s cyber laws to protect people in these situations are non-existent. Police has been trying to take the video down but efforts haven’t been met with much success. Expert lawyers in cyber crime have repeatedly said that the country lacks a legal infrastructure which can be used to take down such videos.

Filming sexual acts and using them as blackmail is a prevalent issue yet government hasn’t introduced any laws to protect victims

There is no hope of such laws being introduced because there is a lack of resources and more importantly, apathy on part of the government officials. What makes everything more frustrating is that a comprehensive cyber law ordinance was ready to go four years ago but it failed before it could become a law. After that, there has been little to no movement on the matter.

What happens is that federal and police officials have to adopt laws which weren’t really meant to be applied to such cases. The criminals get charged with sexual harassment, defamation or criminal intimidation, privacy violation or anything that can be adopted from the archaic Electronic Transactions Ordinance (ETO).

There is a new cyber crime law in the works but it has not been passed by the parliament yet. If it ever gets to see the light of day, the penalty for distribution of sexually explicit material and invasion of privacy would be three years each. If there is violence involved, penalties would be added under different laws.

12 to 15 videos of sexual videos being used to blackmail victims are received by the FIA every month

Shehzad Haider, deputy director-general with the central Federal Investigation Agency which covers cyber crime, said,

“The law which was allowed to lapse was very effective because it was detailed and made the job of prosecution much easier. We make do with the ETO because we have no choice.”

According to Sadia (fake name for the victim), she is now forced to stay indoors due to the nature of the crime and the public dispersal of the videos. She said:

“After I begged and pleaded with them, they beat me even more. They said to me that if I don’t listen to them and do what they want, they’ll show everyone the video, put it up on the internet, that they would hurt my brothers and sister.

I didn’t care about myself but I didn’t want my siblings’ future to be in jeopardy because of me. That’s why I didn’t tell anyone.

A lot of people are watching this video for fun, they see it as something interesting.”

The perpetrators of the crime have already been identified and are in police custody on remand. The trial has already begun and they have been charged with gang rape, kidnapping and distributing pornography. The last act carries a prison sentence of a meager three months. We don’t know if the people who spread the video will be charged with anything.

Filming private videos and circulating it on internet can not be prosecuted under cyber laws, as there is none! Such cases are prosecuted for spreading pornography with maximum sentence of three months in jail

We would like to call upon the government and all concerned parties to do their bloody job and introduce a legal framework which protects victims of sexual abuse.

If the act itself was not disgusting enough, these savage animals have the audacity to blackmail the victims. Not only that, the people who share these videos need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as well.

The law is the last refuge for the downtrodden and right now, it has been letting everyone down. It’s time to change that.

via BBC

Talal is a Director at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]


  • Amir

    Such a sad news. Wake up Govt. and do something about it! May Allah give us hidayat. Ameen.

    • djhassoo

      Ameen

  • Khan

    Such incidents going without notice will only cause encouragement of other criminals.

    The criminals should be castrated in public.

  • Muhammad Aamir

    What a country we have! We can block Youtube and other websites but can’t make a cyber law. WHAT THE HECK!!!!

    • Fake Persona

      We need implementation of LAWS!!! There are laws in Pakistan to punish crimes like rape, murder(کاروکاری) of women but they are not helpful in preventing crimes because punishments are not given or exercised and criminals get to walk away…

      Also the major crime in this case is rape and i don’t think a cyber-law can stop occurrence of rape? (what it can do is prevent sharing of illegal or explicit content)

      عورت كى عزت لوٹنے كا شرعى حكم كيا ہے ؟
      http://islamqa.info/ur/72338

      کیا گناہ اور معصیت کا اظہار کرنا کفر ہے ؟
      http://islamqa.info/ur/20642

      CYBER LAWS IN PAKISTAN:
      http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/ijc/articles/10/1.pdf

      p.s: Is sharing via Bluetooth only, falls under the scope of cyber law?

  • Zaeem

    Such Monsters Should be Slaughtered IN pUBLIC…!!!
    iF soMEONe do this with their daughters and Mothers,then??:P
    Lanat ho aise loogon par:P:P:p
    Allah dekh rha hai..wo ainhen nahe maaf kren gy..!!!

  • Devil

    link?

    • Muhammad Aamir

      The news has been published on BBC there is no doubt that the news is fake why you are asking for the link? If they publish its link, the video will be promoted but what will you do? any positive reason?

      #JustCurious

      • Devil

        I will watch it off course and then get on with my life. Don’t think too much into this and myob.

      • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

        news is fake or you wrote like this?

        • Muhammad Aamir

          Mistakenly I wrote that. Now It’s been fixed.

          • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

            btw not fixed, its corrected :D
            lagta kpk main schools ki halat thek nhi hui

            • Muhammad Aamir

              *It’s corrected! Lagta hai aap ki English ki degree jali hai :P

              • Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain

                mene english ki koi degree li he nahi.
                jo ki us main zara masla agaya

    • Umair

      Absolutely disgusted that there is quite a number of people (given by the likes of the above comment) who are looking for the video link instead of feeling bad for this atrocious crime and condemning it.

      • Devil

        Yeah I know it’s sad but it’s true as well. MOST OF US want to see it. And lets be honest, NOT ONE OF US is actually gonna stand up and do something about this. That’s just how our nation works. It’s not the government’s fault that there is no cyber law, it’s our fault that we make a joke out of every law made. Just take that helpline for example that was introduced after the Peshawar attack…ppl started abusing it and made hell lot of prank calls….

  • Shaheer Ul Haq Fareedi

    what will the gov do? i will tell you, they are going to watch the video, enjoy it and then show it to everyone, if the girl is attractive, they may rape her too.

    and the news will end when the girl commits suicide

  • zain

    easiest and effective solution to this problem is that making/shooting private and sexual videos should declare a criminal and punishable offense even it is between husband and wife

    • Hasnu

      Agreed, making/shooting should have to be banned and if anyone found doing so should be indicted and prosecuted immediately.

  • PeeDroid MiNi L100

    Well, Thats F#@ked Up!!

  • Key

    I don’t know why it cyber low, remember you never punish hard on based of cyber low in such case, it will come in “Fojdari muqadma” jis main death ki saza ha, cyber low main mot ki saza nahi ho skte, aur asay logon ko road ka bech main phansi de jye aur un ki lash k upar roller chalaya jye

  • Raja maja

    If one or two criminals are hanged in front of public the crime rate (including rape cases) will certainly decrease but who will take step.

    Actually mostly these rape attempts are done by the rich and people with strong relations in public figureheads. need to scrutinize them.

    • Ghulam.e.Ahmed

      agreed with first paragraph, like in Saudi Arabia here should they punish/hang criminals in front of public.

    • disqus786

      Yeah if they do that then our western minded media will call it barbarism.

  • muhammad

    Where can I download this? Links please guys come on.

    • Guest

      Sharm Tum Ko Mgr Nhi..!!! Stop Watch Pornography!!! If it’s not possible then to be married!! if it’s possible install AntiPorn!! If it’s not possible do ecstatic love (Ishq) with someone either with ALLAH or a girl!! It’s my experience you will give up to watch porn!! I used to watch a lot of pornography but now I have given up!!!

  • Jahangir

    Allah ham sabko naik hidayat de. Is tarah ke incidents ko hamain sirf ek NEWS ki tarah nahi dekhna chahiye bulkay ye dekhna chahiye ke Allah hamain naik raah pe chalne ke liye ishara de raha hai.

  • Marina Abend

    This is not because of lack of cyber crime legislation, rather, this is because of not punishing the criminals as per Islamic law. Just hang few rapists publicly and see the such things not happening again!

  • Sheldon Cooper

    If parents starts following Islam and make marriages possible for their
    children at the age of 17-19 instead of making it more complicated, such
    incidents can be controlled. We have got sexual frustration all over in
    our environment, media, internet, institutes but where to take out the
    frustration? Obviously people will do horrible things like these
    shit-head gang did to that poor girl.
    Stop saying “bacha settle ho jae” and do whats right in the light of Islam. I swear things will be better.

  • Tariq Pakistani Born Muslim

    I have seen the comments of various people, this kind of act is not new but it is sad to say that this is now happening under cyber crime and it is happening all around the world in form of rapes, beheading of kidnapped people and black mailing others to fulfill personal lust.
    Problem is here in Pakistan, how to enforce the law when certain law exists. Example = Law is clear to stop at red signal and move at green light, but how many of us atop at red signal ? similarly we have now lost our clear path and thats why we are facing these, rapes, robberies, killings, kidnappings and ransom demands etc. A few thousands of gangsters are ruling us due to our fear and mistrust of “ALLAH”.
    Let us prey to “Allah ” SWT to hold us and guide to sirat-e-mustaqeem. A CLEAR PATH TO SUCCESS.
    Remember now no Nabi will come. Only follow the path of Quran and get rid of all these sins of rapes, theft and other fears of life.

    • Muhammad

      “Prey to Allah” yeah but how do I prey?

  • muhammad

    Got married? Wow I thought …….

    • akbar bughti

      Teri sis ki hoti tab bi aisy hi mangta.

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi

    Sadly people like you who spread such news – making even those people who are unaware about it, go looking for the video.

  • Javier Concessco

    What else do you expect from a nation that houses terrorists?

  • پاکستانی

    جب حکمران خود غریب کی بیٹیوں کی عزتیں لوٹ رہے ہوں تو عوام کو تحفظ کون دے گا؟

  • asim

    Let the perpetrators being executed publicly. NO mercy for such barbarians….

  • Mohammad Khan

    Exemplary punishment must be given to these criminals. The video which is widely available should be treated as a sufficient tool for establishing fact and evidence against this crime. When the whole world knows the fact and can be called up to give evidence, there is no need to getting into dig out which laws are applicable and which are not. Cyber laws must be made but not at the cost of this crime where the criminals could be prosecuted and punished under the existing laws with a willingness to provide justice.