Will the Islamophobia never end? “Pakistan: A 12 year-old Christian is gang raped for eight months, forcibly converted and then ‘married’ to her Muslim attacker,” from the Asian Human Rights Commission, October 10 (thanks to Satya):
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-199-2011
10 October 2011
PAKISTAN: A 12 year-old Christian is gang raped for eight months, forcibly converted and then ‘married’ to her Muslim attacker
ISSUES: Gang rape; abduction; forced conversion of religion; child rights; miscarriage of justice; impunity
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that A 12-year-old Christian girl was abducted and raped for eight months. The rapists have not been arrested because of their affiliation with a militant Muslim organization. The police are also refusing to order a medical checkup. The Judicial Magistrate of the area took her statement under section 164 Cr Pc (Criminal Procedure Code) but has not made any orders for her security. One of the rapist claims that he has married the girl but she denies that any marriage took place during her abduction and captivity.
The police have warned the Christian parents that it would be better to hand over the girl to her ‘legal’ husband (the rapist) otherwise a criminal case will be filed against them.
Miss Anna (name withheld), is a 12-year-old Christian girl and the daughter of Arif Masih. Arif is employed as a street sweeper (scavenger) at WAPDA. He is a resident of quarter number 44, WAPDA colony, Shahdra, Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. Anna was kidnapped by two Muslim men on December 24, 2010, one day before Christmas. According to the report sent by the Pakistan Minority Movement, on that day in the morning her friend, Miss Nida, who lives in her neighbourhood, came to her house and asked Anna to go shopping. According to the plan of the perpetrators, her friend took her to a street where they waited in a car. Miss Nida introduced the perpetrator her as her uncle.
Anna was then taken a long distance and dropped at a house where she was raped. After two days some women, relatives of the rapists, namely Mumtaz Bibi.Farzana Bibi, Kiran Bibi along with her friend Nida came with some papers and told her to sign them otherwise she would not be released. Eventually she did sign with hesitation but was not released. The papers were about her marriage to one of the perpetrators, Muhammad Irfan. She was taken to several places and was forced to convert to Islam. When she refused she was manhandled and beaten.
After her abduction, her father filed an FIR against unknown people on 5/1/2011.F I R NO 18/11. Sr. No 2138 to the Factory area police station district Shaikhupura, Lahore. However, the police took no action for eight months.
In the first week of September 2011, more than eight months after her disappearance, Anna called her family from Tandianwalla, district Faisalabad, 190 kilometers from Lahore, and told them that she had been abducted but had escaped and was hiding at a bus stop. The parents went there and recovered her. She was brought back to her home and the parents produced her before the First Class Magistrate, factory area, Shadra, Miss Aasma Tehseen, who recorded her statement under section 164 of Cr Pc but did not order any action for her protection or a medical checkup.
The rapists then immediately contacted the police through their religious group and produced a marriage certificate showing that one of them, Muhammad Irfan, was married to her. When Anna’s parents went to the factory area police station to change the FIR to include the names of the rapists in the case the police flatly refuse to allow this and said she that as she had married and converted to Islam it would be better to hand over the girl to her legal husband. If they refused they were told that a criminal case would be filed against them.
The Christian family is in hiding from the rapists and the police and according to the Christian community, the religious extremists, who are from a banned organization, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, are searching them. The abductors are claiming that she is pregnant but her mother denies that this is true. And in fact, make no difference whatsoever to the girl’s plight.
The irony of the matter is that the police never thought to ask the rapists and their religious groups as to how a girl of 12 could be married when according to the law marriage under the age of 16 is illegal. This is yet another example of how the Punjab provincial government is allegedly patronizing banned militant organizations.
In Pakistan it is has become a common practice from the religious groups to abduct girls from religious minority groups and rape them and when caught they produce marriage certificates and even then do not allow them to meet their parents. The law enforcement authorities never try to prosecute such perpetrators because the religious groups are doing great work in the name of Islam.
Religion can also function both as a primary motivation and as a determinant of criminal complaint outcomes. The increase in forced marriage and forcible conversion by Muslim extremists may owe in part to the aversion of the state to protecting the rights of religious minorities. The U.S. State Department 2009 Human Rights Report for Pakistan concludes that both organic reluctance and outside pressure contribute to the courts” religious bias: Courts routinely failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Judges were pressured to take strong action against any perceived offense to Sunni orthodoxy. The judiciary rarely heard discrimination cases dealing with religious minorities. Other manifestations of religious bias include socially condoned instances of harassment at work….