Outlawed in Pakistan, a documentary directed and produced by Pakistani-Canadian journalist Habiba Nosheen and German journalist Hilke Schellmann won in the ‘Outstanding Research’ category at The 35th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York City. The film was also selected to be one of 15 documentary short films that were screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
According to The Express Tribune Habiba stated, “As a Pakistani filmmaker and journalist I am so pleased and honored that Outlawed in Pakistan won an Emmy.” She added, “It was a film that took my co-director Hilke Schellmann and I five years to make. This was unbelievable and something that I could have never imagined as a little girl growing up in Lahore.”
The documentary tells the story of victim Kainat Soomro, as she takes her case to Pakistan’s deeply-flawed court system with the hope of justice. Hailing from Dadu, rural Sindh, the 13-year-old accuses four powerful men of gang raping her in 2007. Shortly after she approached the courts, she was ordered to be killed by her village elders. Spanning over five years, the story is told through the perspectives of justice-seeking Kainat, and the four accused seeking to clear their names of her rape.
In Pakistan, just the mention of rape or any form of sexual violence is considered taboo. Women and girls who allege rape are often more strongly condemned than their alleged rapists… Some are even murdered by their own families for bringing dishonor upon them.
Shedding light on such issues via the Pakistani judicial system and discerning fact from fiction is a complex and perilous task riddled with influential obstacles… revealing a deeply corrupt justice system.