Women’s advocates in Bahrain are still waiting to see how the country’s Supreme Court will rule on a case that could potentially affect millions of women in the country.
The women’s rights activist group, which has been working on the case for years, said the government had promised to investigate but has been silent for more than two years.
The case has attracted international attention because it involves the death of a 28-year-old student who was brutally raped by two men who were jailed for a year for a separate rape.
The court heard that a local court ordered the death sentence, but a court in the southern city of Ras al-Ain reversed the decision in January and the case will now proceed to the high court in Bahrain.
Activists say they fear that the court will overturn the verdict in the rape case because it could lead to widespread discrimination against women.
The woman who died was one of about 50 women and girls who went to the court to seek justice over the case of an alleged gang rape by three men.
She was found with her head severed and her body covered with burns.
The court’s decision on Tuesday will be crucial for women in Bahrain, where many fear they will be unable to seek compensation for rape and other crimes due to the absence of a speedy trial system.
Bahraini officials deny any such plans exist.
The government has promised a swift justice system and said it would seek to bring those responsible to justice.
But the case is far from over.
A woman activist in the northern city of Khartoum said the court could decide to allow a trial of two men in the case and send them to jail for a long time, but activists fear that would lead to a crackdown.
Activists are also worried that the death penalty could be reinstated.
Bahrean President Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has said he is committed to fighting rape and that the Supreme Court should investigate the case.
Bahria has seen a number of high-profile sexual assaults, including the murder of a prominent activist in 2013.