Re-Arrests In Pakistan Rape

Pakistani rape victim Mukhtar Mai, center, talks to media as her lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, left, and her supporter her supporter Nargis Faiz Malik, right, look on after the Supreme Court decision, Tuesday, June 28, 2005 in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the re-arrest of 13 men acquitted of gang-raping a villager whose case has drawn international attention to the treatment of women in this deeply conservative country, officials said Tuesday.

The ruling came a day after the victim, Mukhtar Mai, in a dramatic appearance at the Supreme Court appealed a lower court decision to acquit five of the men who allegedly raped her on orders of a council of village elders. The eight members of the council, an influential force in rural Pakistan, were acquitted three years ago.

Outside the courtroom, dozens of women hugged and congratulated a relaxed and smiling Mai, who was dressed in the traditional Shalwar kameez (trousers and a shirt) with a blue and green shawl covering her head.

"I am happy and I hope those who humiliated me will be punished," the 33-year old told reporters after the court ordered the retrial of all 13 men. "I was expecting justice from the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court has done justice."