20 February 2018
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  • » 01/25/2018, 13.42


    Pakistani activists want sex education in school to prevent child abuse

    Shafique Khokhar

    Yesterday, the 24-year-old suspect in the Zainab rape and murder case went before the anti-terrorism court. Islamic religious groups have rejected sex education. Justice must be “on a fast track”.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) – A 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the rape and murder of Zainab, a seven-year-old girl, in Kasur (near Lahore). Reacting to the news, a group of activists, Catholics and students propose sex education courses in schools to prevent child abuse.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, they said they appreciate the efforts of the police, who identified the alleged killer through DNA testing, but his “arrest is only the first step towards justice,” said Samson Salamat, president of Rwadari Tehreek (Tolerance movement).

    Yesterday, the accused, Imran Ali (pictures 2 and 3), appeared before an anti-terrorism court in Lahore. A few days ago, Punjab police had collected samples of his DNA, along with those of hundreds of other people, and then released him.

    He was arrested on Tuesday after it was ascertained that his DNA was the same as the one Zainab’s murderer left on her body.

    Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the suspect also submitted to a polygraph test.

    Still, this “is a long way to go to make sure that justice is done,” said Salamat. The “trial must be on a fast track” because the murder sparked “anger and outrage all around”.

    “The serial killer’s arrest is the success of the people who spoke out to make sure that Zainab’s murder did not happen in vain.”

    The “important thing now for Pakistan is to keep an eye on this case and continue to speak out against human rights violations,” Salamat added.

    “The increase in sexual crimes against minors also calls the attention of the legislatures and law enforcement to seriously look into existing law and procedures.”

    Shahid Anwar, a student activist, also appreciates "the combined efforts of intelligence services and police authorities.” But “The Pakistani government should implement existing laws that guarantee child protection and fulfill international obligations."

    In addition, he proposes including "sex education in school curricula.” For him, “This will surely help limit child abuse.” At the same time, “The police and the authorities should not only give preference to those cases highlighted by media, but ought to take speedy actions in every case of child abuse registered in police stations.”

    Ata-ur-Rehman Saman, researcher and coordinator of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, believes that Zainab’s case "exposes the lack of interest, sense of responsibility and political will that allowed the culprit to rape and kill 12 innocent girls.”

    The reference here is to the 12 cases recorded in Kasur in 2017, which came to light only after Zainab’s became public, all attributed to a single serial killer.

    For Saman, "Awareness regarding such issues should be included in the education curriculum, something that has always been rejected by [Islamic] religious factions."

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    See also

    15/01/2018 13:12:00 PAKISTAN
    Lahore, Child protection policies more important than countering terrorism

    Activists demand policies and laws for the protection of minors. Disdain and protests for the rape and murder of seven year old Zainab. In the first six months of 2017, 1764 cases of child abuse. Of these, about 62% occurred in Punjab. In Lahore, the first child protection unit in all of South Asia. Prohibit child marriage and corporal punishment in schools.

    11/01/2018 20:50:00 PAKISTAN
    For Pakistani activists, a “rape culture” places no value in children

    The country mourns Zainab, 7, from near Lahore. Her body, left in a rubbish dump, shows signs of torture. The "culture of rape" feeds on a cultural background defined by the division between men and women, misogyny, and abuses in madrassas.

    24/01/2018 09:32:00 PAKISTAN
    Alleged murderer of little Zainab arrested

    The suspect is 24 years old Imran Ali. For the investigators, he may be a neighbor. The police collect 1150 DNA samples. Comparative investigations are under way with the traces found on the small seven-year-old body.

    12/01/2018 19:22:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan mourns child raped, killed and thrown into a rubbish dump

    Zainab was seven years old and lived near Lahore. The Government of Punjab is offering a reward of US$ 90,000 to anyone who can help police find the murderer. Yesterday two more children were killed in the province, triggering two parallel investigations. The entertainment industry and the sports world have denounced the "violated rights of minors".

    13/01/2018 11:04:00 PAKISTAN
    Justice and Peace on the rape and murder of little Zainab: urgent need of laws and policies for the protection of children

    The Catholic body denounces the indolence of policemen, political leaders and government representatives for not cooperating with the victim's family. Pakistan is ranked as the 11th country with highest rate of child abuse/ sexual assault with 2500 cases each year and 3rd most dangerous country in the world for women. , in 2017 there has been 1764 cases of child abuse across Pakistan and 12 cases of rape and murder of minor girls all aged between 5 to 8 years in Kasur.

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