Usman Mirza and four others were sentenced to life in prison by an Islamabad sessions court on Friday for holding a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip, beating them up, and filming the entire ordeal.
Session Extensions The verdict was handed down by Judge Ata Rabbani. Usman Mirza, Idris Qayyum Butt, Mohib Khan Bangash, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, and Farhan Shaheen were among those sentenced, while accused Umar Bilal Marwat and Rehan Hussain were acquitted.
Usman and his accomplices were sentenced to life in prison under Section 354-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (assault or use of criminal force against a woman and stripping her of her clothing), according to the court’s order.
A fine of Rs200,000 has been imposed on each of them by the court. If they do not pay, they will be sentenced to six months of simple imprisonment.
The defendants were also given seven years in prison for criminal intimidation (Section 506) and three years for insulting a woman’s modesty (Section 509(i)).
In July 2021, a video of four people harassing the couple at gunpoint went viral on social media, bringing the case to light.
Initially, a FIR was filed under Pakistan Penal Code sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against a woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting a woman’s modesty with a word, gesture, or act).
The FIR was later amended to include sections on rape, se**xual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement. The court indicted the seven defendants, including Usman Mirza, on September 28, 2021.
When the woman complainant retracted her statement against the accused and told a trial court that she did not want to pursue the case, the E-11 torture case made headlines once more in January 2022.
On January 12, Maleeka Bokhari, a member of the ruling PTI and Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice, stated that the state would now pursue prosecution in the Usman Mirza case “regardless of recent developments” relating to the victim’s testimony.
“The video of Usman Mirza (the primary accused) has been verified by the Pakistan Science Foundation, and we have photogrammetry evidence,” she had said in a statement.
عثمان مرزا کیس میں متاثرہ لڑکی اور نوجوان کے منحرف ہونے کے باوجود عمر قید کی سزا جدید ٹیکنالوجی کی بطور شہادت قبولیت کی انتہائ خوش آئند ہے، وہی معاشرے ترقی کا زینہ چڑھتےہیں جہاں انصاف ہو انشاللہ سیالکوٹ اور دیگر مقدموں میں بھی انصاف کے قریب ہیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 25, 2022