Pakistan: Teenage girl abducted, raped and disrobed: demand justice

Women's rights activists demand Pakistan state authorities ensure justice for a teenage girl who has been kidnapped, raped and forced to parade naked publicly.
16-year-old girl Ms. Nasima was resdient in Habib Labano village, Langho Union Council, Ubaro Town, Ghotki district, Sindh province, Pakistan. On 27 January 2007, she was abducted along with her mother Ms. Zareena from her home by 11 persons living in the same village. They include Mr. Abdul Sattar Labano, Mr. Moor Zado, Mr. Abdul Jabbar, Mr. Munawar Hussian, Mr. Mohammad Anwar Hussain Labano, Mr. Khadim Hussain Labano, Mr. Ali Hassan, Mr. Shah Baig and Mr. Shabeer Loung. Mr. Abdul Sattar Labano is the father of Mr. Mohammad Anwar Hussain Labano and the other perpetrators are their close relatives.

The girl was then taken to the house of one local influential person namely Mr. Abdul Sattar Labano. The mother was released, while the girl was taken into a room. According to the girl, she was first raped by Mr. Mohammad Anwar Hussain Labano and then by his father Mr. Abdul Sattar Labano before she was fainted. She does not clearly remember what happened to her after that. Meanwhile, the girl's mother shouted for help outside the house and several women and men gathered upon hearing her cry. The group shouted and knocked on the door loudly. Afraid that the police might arrive the perpetrators became scared and kicked the naked girl outside the house. When they found no police outside, the perpetrators rudely forced the girl to parade naked through her village.
It is alleged that the girl's cousin namely Mr. Bhan Labano fell in love with a girl who was a friend of one of the alleged perpetrators. They then secretly married and left for another town. The perpetrators were against this marriage because of caste differences between the two families. Both families belong to Labano caste but the victim's family is from lowest level of the same Labano caste. The perpetrators led by Mr. Abdul Sattar Labano had been allegedly threatening the victim's family to break the marriage and produce the man before them, saying that otherwise the victim's family would face dangerous consequences. On January 27, the perpetrators finally barged into the victim's house and abducted her and her mother, when her father was not at home.

Soon after being released from the house, some people took the girl to the government hospital in Sukkur City for a medical examination. The female doctor Ms. Zaib-ul Nisa conducted the examination on the girl but declared in her medical report that she was about four months pregnant. The female doctor later reportedly said that she denied rape of the girl because of heavy pressure from influential persons.

Local people infuriated by the doctor's report, began to protest outside the hospital and marched into the Ubaro town. However, Mr. Aftab Farooqi, Sub Inspector and investigation wing-in-charge of the Ubaro police station, has allegedly refused to register the case of rape. However, the police later simply recorded the complaint of the girl's father to calm down the local people's protest but still refused to register the rape charges against the perpetrators, saying that they cannot institute the rape case without medical confirmation by law. As a result, no First Information Report (FIR), which is the crucial first step to seek prosecution of the offenders, has been registered and subsequently any charges of rape and abduction have not been filed against the alleged perpetrators by the police.

The victim was then admitted at the Sukkur District Civil Hospital, where she was received the second medical examination.

The Ubaro police arrested five including Mr. Mohammad Anwar Hussain Labano among 11 perpetrators but for a simple inquiry about the complaint lodged by the girl's father, as no FIR has been registered against them. The remainder of the perpetrators are walking freely around the village and has been openly threatening the girl's father to withdraw his complaint against them. After the police inquiry, the arrested five persons may be released as no case has yet been filed against them.

Now the victim and her family are living in fear for their security, while being denied any redress or protection from the government authorities.

For further information please see:
Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre