A 21-year-old American woman was allegedly gang-raped by her "guide" and his accomplice in Pakistan's Punjab province, prompting condemnation from the US embassy.
According to police, the crime took place on July 17 at a tourist resort Fort Munro in Dera Ghazi Khan district, about 500 kilometres from Lahore.
Rapists Recorded the Assault to Blackmail the Victim
The victim âa travel vlogger who goes by @thespicytravelgirl on social media âwas on a trip along with the suspects, Muzamil Sipra and Azan Khosa, whom she met on social media and planned to visit the tourist spot to make a vlog.
Police said that the American woman had come to Fort Munro â a hill station - from Karachi after being invited by Sipra, whose house she visited on Sunday in Rajanpur district of Punjab. The woman had been living in Pakistan for the last seven months on a tourist visa.
The victim was staying at a hotel where she was gang-raped by the two men. "We stayed in a hotel at Fort Monroe where both suspects gang raped me and also made a video of the act to blackmail me," she alleged in the FIR.
One of the accused, Sipra, has already been arrested by the Border Military Police while raids are being conducted to arrest the other suspect. The area magistrate granted six-day physical remand of the detained suspect to the Fort Munro police while the complainant was sent to a hospital for medico-legal proceedings.
In the wake of the incident, the vlogger shared a post on Instagram that read, "Due to current circumstances I'm temporarily disabling my account. Hopefully I will be back soon. Please know I'm currently safe and all necessary steps are being taken. Stay safe everyone."
US Embassy Calls for Strict Action
Meanwhile, a US Embassy Spokesperson told WION that it is in contact with the police and is ensuring that the woman is taken care of.
"The protection of US citizens overseas is the highest priority of the U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad," he said.
"Out of respect for the privacy of the alleged victim, we cannot comment on the specifics of the allegation. The U.S. Consulate General in Lahore stands ready to provide consular services to any US citizen who has been a victim of crime," he added.