Saturday, October 23, 2010

Violence against women and attacks on religious minorities on the rise in Pakistan

by Jibran Khan, AsiaNews.it, Oct 14, 2010

The families of the victims are often afraid to use the courts for fear of reprisals. The proposals of the Justice and Peace Commission to combat the phenomenon.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – The cases of rape, and attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan are dramatically increasing, and 70% are in Punjab, according to Kashif Mazhar, vice-president of “Life for All”. A phenomenon that has recently seen examples of great cruelty, in which the families of the victims are afraid to seek justice. A 13 year old Christian girl, Kiran Nayyaz, was raped last year and had a child. Her father, Nayyaz Masih told AsiaNews: “I’m poor, working as a janitor at the school in Chak Jhumra. My daughter worked as a waitress, and I had complained before of being harassed. She was raped by a driver, Muahammad Yahweh, who then fled”.

Joseph Francis, National Director of CLAAS (Center for Legal Aid Assistance) told AsiaNews, “Nayiaz Masih and his family came to us, in shock, they were even afraid to talk about this incident. We gave them refuge. Kiran had a baby, and together with the Justice and Peace Commission we are working to see they get justice. “

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