It’s been two days since Amnesty International launched its petition to save two young Indian women from the punishment of rape for their brother’s alleged “crimes”, and already, it has received over 220,000 signatures.
On July 30, 23-year-olrd Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister were given the sentence by an unelected, all-male local council in Baghpat, India, which included being paraded with blackened faces through their village for their brother’s “crime”—he eloped with a married woman of a higher caste.
Since then, the Kumari sisters—of the underprivileged Dalit caste, have fled with their family to a secret location in New Delhi. They are in the process of appealing their case to India’s Supreme Court.
“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”
These women now live in constant fear for their safety.
“How will we ever return home or to our village? If we ever return, they will harm us or rape us. If not today, then in the future,” one of the sister’s told reporters.
The petition has been circulated widely on social media, and is only 30,000 signatures away from its 250,000 goal.