Skip to main content

5 men confess to gang-raping Swiss tourist in India

By Sumnima Udas, CNN
March 17, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
An Indian security official looks over the site that a Swiss woman was raped the night before near Gwalior on March 16, 2013.
An Indian security official looks over the site that a Swiss woman was raped the night before near Gwalior on March 16, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Confessions to police are not admissible in court
  • The victim and her husband were camping
  • 20 people have been detained for questioning

New Delhi (CNN) -- Five men have confessed to gang-raping a Swiss tourist in central India, authorities said Sunday.

Confessions in police custody are not admissible in court, however, and can be retracted.

The woman was camping near a forest in India's Datia district with her husband when a group of men beat the husband and raped her, the district's deputy superintendent of police, R.S. Prajapati, said.

Opinion: End global rape culture

There were between five and seven attackers, he said.

Fighting rape in India's old-boys club
CNN rides along with Delhi police
Lakshmi: Problem goes beyond gang rape

The couple arrived in Mumbai on February 3 and were on a cycling tour across the country, said D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police.

The attackers stole a laptop, 10,000 rupees (US $185) and a mobile phone, he said. The victims went to police and the woman was hospitalized and later released.

Twenty people have been detained for questioning, Arya said.

How it feels to be a woman in India

The couple is staying at a guesthouse in the Datia district while the investigation unfolds, he said.

The Swiss ambassador to India, Linus von Castelmur, has spoken with the couple and offered any support they will need.

"Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment," the ambassador said in a statement. "The embassy has also been in touch with the local authorities and has requested for swift investigation and for justice to be done."

The attack comes at a time in India when there are calls for stricter laws on sexual assault and changes in cultural attitudes toward women.

In December a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a New Dehli bus, spurring protests in India, where most women have stories of sexual harassment and abuse on public transportation or on the streets, according to the Indian Council on Global Relations. That woman later died in a Singapore hospital.

A panel appointed by India's home affairs minister as a result of the case criticized Indian attitudes toward sexual assault and called for policy changes, including creating an offense of gang-rape punishable by at least 20 years in prison, making it a crime for police to fail to investigate sexual assault complaints and making it illegal to consider character or previous sexual experience of the victim at a criminal trial.

Challenges of being a woman in India

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1240 GMT (2040 HKT)
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1940 GMT (0340 HKT)
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0904 GMT (1704 HKT)
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1234 GMT (2034 HKT)
The sights couldn't be sadder: Animals killed or suffering through war in Gaza.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
They are the faces of a community on the run. Photographer Warzer Jaff documents the plight of the Yazidis.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
A cameraman films a massive New York City subway rat charging at him and attacking him. WPIX reports.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT