Before you continue to read this article, click here to sign a petition from Amnesty International to stop the 15-year-old and 23-year-old girls mentioned in the story being gang-raped as punishment for their brother’s ‘crime’.

An un-elected, all-male council have sentenced two sisters (15 and 23-years-old) to rape after their brother eloped with a married woman in India. To make it even worse and more humiliating, the so-called ‘council’ have also insisted that the two girls be paraded around naked with their faces blackened. It is wrong and it is illegal. And the girls are running out of time as the date of their ‘punishment’ is 31st August.

Amnesty International had this to say on Meenakshi Kumari and her younger sister’s sentence: “Unelected village councils such as this are widespread in parts of India. More often than not they are made up of older men from dominant castes, who prescribe rules for social behaviour and interaction in villages. Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”

For those who are not familiar with the Hindu religion of which the girls and their family are from, it specifically segregates its people in an extremely strict caste system. The Kumari sisters and their brother are a part of the ‘untouchables’ who, to us, would be the lowest of the low. These people are not allowed to mingle with anyone of a different caste, let alone elope with a married woman from a higher caste.

The woman’s family married her off to another man in February, but she escaped the marriage and has fled with Ravi, the girls’ brother.

Since the family fled their village, their home has been ransacked and they fear for their lives if they return. Meenakshi has filed a petition with India’s Supreme Court asking for protection.