‘Hundreds of men’ investigated over sexual assault on woman in Pakistan park

Police investigating hundreds of suspects after footage emerged of victim being surrounded in Lahore park

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 19 August 2021 21:11
Hundreds of men crowd female TikToker, tearing her clothes in Pakistan
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Police are investigating hundreds of men after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a crowd as she filmed a TikTok video in a park in Pakistan, reports say.

Footage of the incident circulating on social media shows the woman surrounded by a crowd of people, who she said assaulted her and pulled her from all sides until her clothes were torn. The crowd also stole her phone, money and jewellery, she claimed.

The woman, a TikToker, was filming in Greater Iqbal park in Lahore with friends when the group was surrounded. She tried to escape the mob but was lifted from the ground and pelted with objects, videos of the incident show.

The woman has since registered a case against 300 to 400 people with local police and arrests have been made, according to The Guardian.

She reportedly told police: “The crowd pulled me from all sides to such an extent that my clothes were torn. I was hurled in the air. They assaulted me brutally.”

The incident sparked outrage in Pakistan, with Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari writing on Twitter: “The assault of a young women by a mob at #minarepakistan should shame every Pakistani. It speaks to a rot in our society.

“Those responsible must be brought to justice. The women of Pakistan feel insecure and it is all our responsibility to ensure safety and equal rights to all.”

Information minister Fawad Chaudhry, meanwhile, said that the nation’s government was working “full throttle” on the case and that some of the men in the videos have been identified, the paper reported. He added that prime minister Imran Khan had taken notice of the case.

Others reflected on women’s safety in public places in Pakistan.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, wrote on Twitter: “Heart-wrenching scenes at Minar-e-Pakistan warrant collective introspection.

“We as parents, teachers and leaders need to reflect upon the upbringing of our youngsters to make public spaces safe for women. Those involved must be dragged to justice to create deterrence for future.”

A member of the local sheriff’s department, Sajid Kiyani, was quoted by Pakistani media as saying that those who “violated [the] women’s honour and harassed them will be brought within the ambit of the law”.

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