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Wednesday Oct 14 2020
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European Parliament committees to conduct hearing on Motorway Rape Case

Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament during a debate on The State of the European Union in Strasbourg, France. — Reuters/Files

BRUSSELS: Three committees of the European Parliament (EP), the Human Rights, the Civil Liberty, and the Gender Committee have decided to conduct a hearing on the Lahore Motorway gang-rape case on 28th October 2020 at the EP.

At the hearing, women from all over the world, including Pakistan, will address the joint session of the three committees in the EP via a video-link, Samira Rafaela, a member of the European Parliament, told Geo.tv from Netherlands.

"Such incidents are indeed happening all over the world, and that is why we are raising our voices against them," she said, responding to a question.

Motorway Rape Case: Prime suspect Abid Malhi arrested from Faisalabad

"We are trying to make these states particularly sensitive to incidents that are somehow connected to our aid system," Rafaela said.

Rafaela, referring to CCPO Umer Shiekh's victim-blaming statement, said: "The comments made by a local police officer regarding the incident had also caused distress [to women in particular]. "

She said this statement is tantamount to ridiculing women. Therefore, "such incidents must be made a topic of discussion".

Read more: Abid Malhi surrendered himself, says father

MEP Rafaela said that there have been several cases of "barbaric sexual violence against women in Pakistan" and called for practical steps towards police reforms.

In European parliamentary institutions such as the European Commission and the parliament where women are in leading positions, women-related issues are given importance.

Read more: Court sends suspect Abid Malhi on 14-day judicial remand

Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany and the head of the most powerful state in Europe, as well as the head of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyden, are women, and 40% of members of the European Parliament are women as well. In this scenario, women-related issues can not be ignored.