Imran Khan’s woes vs. justice denied to a 13-year-old Christian rape victim
by Shafique Khokhar

While the country is in an uproar over the former prime minister’s legal problems, another girl is kidnapped from her home in Faisalabad and raped for seven days by men known in the  community. Local Muslim notables are pressing for the family to drop their complaint. For NGO Voice Pakistan, “The protection of underage Christian girls has become the main problem of religious minorities.”

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s legal woes have been front-page news in Pakistan over the past few days with tensions running high as supporters of his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party took to the streets to protest his arrest on Tuesday.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that his detention was unlawful. But for members of minorities, justice is not so swift, in particular young women and girls victims of violence.

The latest case involves Angel Robin, a 13-year-old Christian girl, kidnapped and brutally gang raped in Chak 109, a village in the Faisalabad area.

A Sixth Grade student, Angel comes from a particularly vulnerable family. On 27 April, she was taken from her home by four, particularly disreputable men, all of them Muslim (Adeel, Nauman Awan, Shana, Hafiz Aslam), plus a fifth unknown person.

After the girl’s abduction, her family filed a First Information Report (FOIR) against the four at the Khurrianwala police station.

She was let go near the police station after seven days. A medical report confirmed that she was the victim of extreme sexual violence. Despite this, the four accused were granted bail.

Voice Pakistan, a human rights organisation, has been following the case, reporting that local political and religious leaders are pressuring Angel Robin's family not to go through with their legal action.

For its executive director, Zohaib Newton, “The protection of underage Christian girls has become the main problem of religious minorities,” he told AsiaNews. “The Pakistani government should work seriously on a legislative solution. The perpetrators should receive an exemplary lesson for this heinous criminal activity.”

“Angel is just a Sixth Grade student and the culprits carried out this brutal act because they knew that she belonged to a poor Christian family and that they would remain safe after such brutality,” said Tabinda Saher, president of the Women's Power Circle.

Following the attack, “the girl is struggling with physical and mental pain, taking medicine, while the culprits are at large and still threatening the poor family,” Saher said. “We stand by the poor family and we will fight until justice is done.”

Photo: Flickr/bluewinx15