- 39-year-old Swiss woman was raped while camping with her husband
- Attack happened in a forest in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh
- A lawyer for the government said that it was ‘a good judgement’
- She had previously asked the judge to not give her attackers the death penalty
July 21, 2013
An Indian court on Saturday sentenced six men convicted of the gang rape of a Swiss woman to life in prison, in one of several recent cases that have fuelled a public outcry over the high rate of sex crimes in India.
The 39-year-old Swiss woman was raped while camping with her husband in a forest in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in mid-March.
‘It was a good judgment. It came early,’ said Rajendra Tiwari, a lawyer for the government.
The woman had previously asked judges trying her six attackers not to impose the death penalty.
Judges in Daita, central India, opened the case with four of the six charged with rape and the other two facing assault and robbery charges.
The court heard that the 39-year-old victim and her husband had been on a cycling holiday in Madhya Pradesh state when their camp was attacked by the gang.
After beating and tying up her 30-year-old husband, the gang pinned down and raped his terrified wife, said prosecutors.
The National Crime Records Bureau says more than 24,200 rapes were reported across India in 2011 – about one every 20 minutes. Police estimate only four out of 10 rapes are reported, largely due to victims’ fear of being shamed by their families and communities.
The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus on December 16 in New Delhi sparked a global outcry over the issue and brought thousands of people onto the streets to demand better policing to prevent sex crimes. The trainee physiotherapist later died from her injuries.
It brought hundreds of thousands of angry citizens out in the streets to demand more safety for women and harsher laws to deter the perpetrators of such acts.
An American tourist was gang-raped by a group of men in a hill resort in northern India in June. In March, a British woman jumped out of her hotel balcony in Uttar Pradesh state to escape a feared sexual assault.