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2014-08-21

ASIA/PAKISTAN - Violence against minorities: a 12-year-old Christian girl raped by a gang

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Indignation and outrage in the Christian community of Lahore after the rape of a 12-year-old Christian girl. Muqadas, is the daughter of the Christian Liaqat Masih who has four daughters. As Fides learns Muqadas comes from a poor family and all four girls work as maids in the homes of middle class Muslims. The violence took place on August 2. Muqadas and her older sister Asma were returning home from work, when Muqadas was kidnapped by two Muslim men and three women. They took her inside a school (which was closed) and the two men, identified as Ashraf Alias Achi and Ghaffor Alias Paida raped her repeatedly in turn.
The girl was later abandoned. The family went to the police in Lahore and filed a complaint. One of the rapists was arrested and the other has asked for bail. Liaqat Masih’s family is in a state of shock and is assisted by the NGO LEAD, led by the Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who said to Fides: "We will do everything so that this violence does not go unpunished". The family has already received intimidation to withdraw the complaint.
"In Pakistan - Gill explains to Fides - rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. "Furthermore, he concludes, "rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/08/2014)

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