Saturday, April 21, 2007

For those with little voice

What follows is distressing - but by no means unique for Christians living in some countries. Imagine the uproar if this happened to a member of a religious minority in Britain.

Pakistani Christian girl gang raped:

A young Christian girl in Pakistan was kidnapped on Easter Sunday and gang raped over three days.

On the morning of 8th April twelve-year-old Cheena Masih went to the local shops near her home in Lahore. On her way she was attacked by four men who knocked her unconscious. Her abductors took Cheena to a factory warehouse, where they raped her, keeping her there for two days and then moving her to a private home.

When Cheena’s family realised she was missing they went to the local police station, but received no help from the police. The family searched for the missing girl themselves, and on 10th April managed to discover the name of one of the kidnappers. Cheena’s father and brother found the man at the factory where he worked; the man admitted that he was holding Cheena, and promised to return her. At 9pm that night Cheena was delivered back to her home, and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

The following day the police arrested four men at the factory. However, the police continued to obstruct the case, refusing to lodge a report until they had a medical report for Cheena, and not exerting themselves to help the family get the medical examination done. Eventually, after the intervention of a Pakistani Christian advocacy organisation, the examination was done on 13th April and the police promised that they would register the case.

Her family’s experience of finding the authorities reluctant to help them at their time of need is also a common experience for poor Christian families in such contexts.

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