The allegations are horrifying: that a Pakistani village council learned a 12-year-old girl had been raped by a teenage relative while she was cutting grass in a field, and that the council had an eye-for-an-eye response. The council in Muzaffarabad, a village outside Multan, allegedly ordered the victim's teenage brother to rape the assailant's 16-year-old sister as "punishment," per a police official. In the BBC's telling, the rape was carried out in front of both the council and the girls parent's, with the mothers of both the violated girls then going to police, reportedly to file rape charges against the other's son. Reuters backs up the report, and quotes Multan police officer Ahsan Younis as saying, "A total of 29 people were involved in this ghastly crime, and we have 25 of them in our custody."
The rapes reportedly took place on July 16 and July 18, per Dawn, and the Washington Post describes the family relationship, reporting the father of one of the young men is the brother of the second's grandfather. It's the family connection that's somewhat atypical, reports the Post, which says this was a "very distinct type of a panchayat" (village council) in that it was composed entirely of men related to one another, rather than elders from various families. It's not the only twist the Post sees: While "honor" crimes continue to occur in Pakistan, "what made this case different was that somebody spoke up, and authorities took action." Younis says the young men could face death, but it's the court's call. (Read about a similar case in India.)