Tougher penalties for acid attacks in Pakistan
Summary of story from Dawn, May 11, 2011
Pakistani lawmakers have adopted tougher penalties for acid attacks in a step towards eradicating a form of violence that may disfigure around 200 women a year, campaigners said recently.
Those convicted can now be jailed for between 14 years and life, and fined a minimum of one million rupees ($11,750), whereas previous sentences were restricted to around six years.
Pakistan’s lower house of parliament passed the amendment on Tuesday, but the legislation needs to be formally rubber stamped by the Senate.
It also tightens the definition of disfigurement and recommends provincial assemblies crack down on the buying and selling of acid.
“This is only the first step… when the first prosecution comes in, that’s when it shows we mean business,” said Marvi Memon, who presented the bill.
“In our feudal society, the culprit gets away with this crime simply because they’re connected to some feudal lord, who is connected to some parliamentarian and now we will ensure we’ll be watchdogs over this,” she added.