19 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/24/2014
PAKISTAN
Punjab: clan gang rapes seven year old Christian and kidnaps father to stop him reporting them
by Jibran Khan
Sara was raped by four men in a Muslim village in Sialkot . The little girl is hospitalized in a "critical condition". The rapists kidnapped her father, Iqbal Masih, forcing the family to not press charges. Activists and human rights organizations demand justice.

Islamabad (AsiaNews ) - A "clan" of four Muslim men raped a Christian girl of only seven years old, named Sara yesterday in the village of Mally ki, Daska, Sialkot district (Punjab) . The child is now in Sialkot hospital, in the intensive care unit in a "critical" condition according to doctors. Meanwhile, the police, instead of arresting the culprits, helped the local clan to kidnap the girl's father; Iqbal Masih was taken and hidden in a secret place to "force the family not to report the story, to reach an agreement with the criminals and to avoid a dispute of a religious background".

The Christian community has attempted every possible means to negotiate with police, with no success. The police seem reluctant to punish the rapists and free Masih, in the hands of the torturers who abused daughter.

Activists and human rights organizations demand justice and ensure their support for the family. Following repeated appeals and pressures, the judiciary has opened an investigation and ordered the arrest of two people involved in the rape; however so far there is no news of her father's fate.

According to recent research, the cases of sexual abuse and violence - especially against young Christian girls - are on the rise in the province of Punjab, under the complicit silence of the police and the judicial authorities. Father John Arshad, a priest involved in the protection of minority rights, condemns the sexual assault on a girl of only seven years and the kidnapping of the parent, "to put pressure on the family not to report the crime". The "silence" of civil society, he adds, heightens the drama of the story even more.

With a population of more than 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia. About 80 per cent of Muslims are Sunni, whilst Shias are 20 per cent. Hindus are 1.85 per cent, followed by Christians (1.6 per cent) and Sikhs (0.04 per cent). Violence against ethnic and religious minorities is commonplace across the country, with Shia Muslims and Christians as the main target, with things getting worse. Dozens of episodes , including targeted attacks against entire communities - such as in Gojra in 2009 or Joseph Colony Lahore last year - or abuses against individuals (Asia Bibi , Rimsha Masih or the young Robert Fanish Masih, who also died in his cell), are often perpetrated under the pretext of the blasphemy laws .

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/12/2010 PAKISTAN
Punjab: Christian maid burned alive to prevent her from reporting a rape
by Fareed Khan
06/13/2008 PAKISTAN
Mentally disturbed Christian girl, 12, raped by group of Muslims
by Qaiser Felix
04/04/2013 PAKISTAN
Lahore: kidnapped and tortured by Muslims, the Easter passion of a 38 year-old Christian
by Shafique Khokhar
05/19/2012 PAKISTAN
Pakistan, appeal for Christian girl kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam
by Shafique Khokhar
08/25/2011 PAKISTAN
Punjab: Muslims kidnap 14 year old Christian to convert her to Islam

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.