Five hanged in Pakistan for gang rape
The men were sent to the gallows at the district jail in Sialkot.india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 15:56 IST
Five men convicted of raping a woman were hanged in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province early on Wednesday.
The men were sent to the gallows at the district jail in Sialkot, about 125 km north of provincial capital Lahore, Superintendent Jail, Abdul Razaq Niazi, said.
He said it was the first time that five people were hanged the same day in Sialkot, a town also famous for sports items manufacturing.
Another jail official said the men were aged between 23 and 35 and three of them were married. Their bodies were handed over to their relatives outside the jail.
The victim Sureya Bibi had appealed to the court on Tuesday to forgive the convicts but Chief Justice of Lahore High Court rejected her request.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry argued that there could be no reconciliation in a case of rape and therefore the punishment cannot be stopped.
Gang rape is punishable by death under special laws introduced by Pakistan in 1993.
The men -- Mushtaq Papu, Shehzad Maseeh, Muhammad Yousaf, Abdul Jabbar and Iftikhar Ahmed -- were convicted of raping the woman Surreya Bibi in September 1999, and had appeals against their death sentences rejected by higher courts.
They were first handed down death penalty by an anti-Terrorism Court, which was later upheld by High Court and Supreme Court. President Pervez Musharraf had also rejected their mercy petitions.
The victim told a news conference last week that the convicts were innocent and that they were not those who raped her.