Pakistanis disproportionately involved in sexual abuse cases

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358 child abuse cases reported in last five years across Sindh

KARACHI: As many as 358 children — 252 boys and 106 girls — became victims of child abuse in Sindh between 2014 and 2019, it emerged on Sunday.

A recent police study about child abuse cases in the province showed that girls found to be more vulnerable between ages of 1-5 and 16-18 while boys found to be more vulnerable between ages of 6-10 and 11-15.

It said that the police registered total 349 cases and arrested 408 suspects across the province during the five-year period.

The police presented charge sheets of 257 cases before the courts concerned, 70 cases were cancelled while 17 cases remained untraced. Out of 257 cases referred to the courts, 17 cases ended up in conviction compared to 132 cases in which accused earned acquittal. Around 117 cases were still pending for trial, the study said.

Around 96 boys and 20 girls have fallen prey to abusers in Karachi alone

Most cases reported in Karachi

According to figures, total 116 children became victims of abuse in Karachi from year 2014 to 2019. Out of them, 96 were boys and 20 were girls.

The police arrested 86 suspects, presented charge sheets of 68 cases, cancelled 28 and showed 16 untraced in the provincial capital. The courts awarded punishments in three cases and acquittals in nine cases. At present, 56 cases were pending trial.

In Thatta district, 26 children, including 17 boys, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 38 suspects, presented challans of all 26 cases. The courts awarded conviction in two cases, granted acquittals in 17 cases while seven cases were still pending trial.

In Tando Mohammed Khan district, total 23 children, including 16 boys, fell victims to child abuse. The police arrested 38 suspects, presented challans of 18 suspects in courts and cancelled two cases. The courts convicted suspects in four cases and acquitted in eight cases. Six cases were pending trial.

In Tando Allahyar district, 15 children, including six girls, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 22 suspects, presented challans of nine cases while cancelled six cases. The court awarded punishment in one case while passed acquittal orders in five cases. Three cases were still pending for trial.

In Dadu district, 36 children, including 28 boys, were abused. The police arrested 51 suspects, presented challans of 25 cases while one case was cancelled. The courts convicted accused in three cases while acquitted those in 15 cases. Seven cases were pending trial in the said district.

In Matiari district, 37 children, including 27 boys, were abused. The police arrested 48 cases, presented challans of 33 cases while five cases were cancelled. The courts granted convictions in two cases and acquittals in 27 cases while four cases were pending trial.

In Shaheed Benazirabad district, total 53 children, including 34 boys, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 63 suspects, presented challans of 47 cases and cancelled one case. The courts awarded punishment in two cases and acquitted accused in 27 cases while 20 cases were pending for trial.

In Jacobabad district, total 24 children, including 12 girls, became victims of abuse. The police arrested 25 suspects, presented challans of 14 cases while three cases were cancelled. One case remained untraced. The courts acquitted accused in 12 cases. No one was convicted while six cases were pending trial.

In Larkana district, 14 children, including nine boys, were abused. The police arrested 13 suspects, presented challans of seven cases and cancelled five cases. No one was convicted and the courts acquitted accused in five cases. Two cases were pending trial.

In Naushahro Feroze district, total 14 children, including 10 girls, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 24 suspects, presented challans of 10 cases and cancelled one case. No conviction was granted and the courts acquitted accused in seven cases while six cases were pending trial.

Concerns over rising incidents

The police study also did a comparative analysis of child abuses with other three provinces, which revealed that the most child abuse cases were reported in Punjab followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Referring to various child abuse cases in Punjab, the police study noted with concern that such cases were increasing in Sindh.

It pointed out two cases in Naushahro Feroze district, which had been declared as “utterly unbelievable and extremely reprehensible”.

In one case, a man confessed that he had been raping her two daughters for nearly a year. The police took action against him when the victims approached the police and filed a written complaint against him.

As nobody believed their ordeal, the victims managed to film a video of their father, which later on was submitted to the police for further investigation.

In another such case in the same area, a paternal uncle was alleged to have broken into a house and sexually assaulted his minor niece. Later the mother singlehandedly protested and demanded the justice.

Call to spread awareness among children

Citing several research studies carried out in the country and abroad, the police study said there were adverse consequences of child abuse ranging from social, emotional, cognitive, educational problems, to low self-esteem and self-harm or sometimes it may lead to suicide.

There were also links between physical abuse, depression, and aggressive behaviours.

“It appears that males and females react differently to trauma, with males engaging in more antisocial behaviours and females becoming more withdrawn.”

Other long-term effects included criminal risk taking behaviours and drug and alcohol problems.

Several recommendations have been made to control child abuse cases such as blocking porn websites, stamping out drug mafias and creating awareness among young children about child abuse at schools.

It also called for adopting child protection policies.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2020


https://www.dawn.com/news/1541169/358-child-abuse-cases-reported-in-last-five-years-across-sindh
 

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In Pakistan's Kasur, child rapes and killings continue unabated

Kasur, Pakistan - Nine-year-old Faizan Muhammad stepped out of the mosque where his family lives in the small central Pakistani town of Chunian on a warm September evening.

Hours later, he had still not returned home, and his family began to fear the worst.

The next morning, a local driver found his body in a barren field a few kilometres away, the fourth victim of a series of child kidnappings and murders in the area located in northern Punjab state.

Muhammad's body was not alone, however. Alongside him, police found human remains and skeletons, later identified to belong to the three other boys who were kidnapped, raped and murdered between June and September this year.

After a two-week hunt, during which police took DNA samples from more than 1,700 people in the area, they narrowed down their search to just one suspect: Sohail Shahzad, a local rickshaw driver.


People chant slogans to condemn the rape and killing of seven-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Karachi [File: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]
Shahzad confessed to the murders, saying he would take his rickshaw around town in the evening, just as the summer's scorching temperatures began to drop and children came out of their homes to play.

He would offer the boys 100 rupees (roughly $0.60) and a rickshaw ride. Once they hopped on, he would rape and strangle them to death, his confessional statement to police says.

Cases of missing children are not new in Kasur district, where Chunian is located. There has been a spate of recent child kidnappings, rapes and assaults reported in recent years.

Kasur - under the microscope after a child pornography ring was broken up here in 2015 - illustrates how Pakistan's newly strengthened child protection laws and authorities have failed to stop such crimes.

New laws, no implementation
Last year alone, over 3,800 cases of child sexual abuse were reported across Pakistan, a country of 207 million people, according to child rights organisation, Sahil.

The most vulnerable groups were identified as boys between the ages of six and 15 years old, and girls who are either infants or between 16 and 18 years old.

The numbers are not atypical for the region. In India's capital New Delhi alone, over 2,000 rape cases were reported in 2018, while in Bangladesh, a survey conducted last year said 87 percent of children had experienced sexual abuse.

India introduced the death penalty for child rapists last year to try to control the rising number of cases.

In 2017, Pakistan's penal code was amended to address the endemic problem of child abuse. Laws were tightened concerning child pornography, exposure of a child to seduction and child sexual abuse. Rights organisations, however, say not enough is being done.

"Our laws are certainly strong enough for convictions in child abuse cases," says Manizeh Bano, Sahil's executive director. "The problem remains with implementation."

More recently, child-friendly courts have also been set up in parts of the country, where there are particular hours for children so they do not interact with adult criminals or suspects.

There are still, however, no counsellors to take care of a child's psychological needs, or staff trained to speak with victims of trauma, says Bano.

"When children come to court they should have a screen in front of them so they can testify without having to face their accuser," says Bano, adding that children should also be allowed to give their account on video if the laws are to be implemented in spirit.

At present, police in Punjab province, where Kasur is located, are working on some of these changes to make the investigation process easier on children, including visiting children at home rather than forcing them to come to police stations to record their statements.


Muhammad Ramzan, the father of Faizan Muhammad, who went missing on September 16. Faizan's body was found a day later alongside the skeletal remains of three other boys. [Zehra Abid/Al Jazeera]
'Hang him'
In a country where there is often little trust in the justice system, there is still anger among the victims' families.

Muhammad's father, a quiet man, speaks loudly only when he is asked what justice means to him.

"When the police have arrested him, then what are they doing? He needs to be hanged publicly, so people remember this can also be done to them," he says.

Rights groups have said capital punishment does not deter crime - particularly crimes involving sexual assault - but for the victims' families in Kasur, it seems there is no other acceptable outcome.

Last year, six-year-old Zainab Ansari's body was found in a trash dump in Kasur's main town. Police said she was raped before she was killed. Imran Ali, a local man, was arrested and convicted for her murder in a high-profile trial following countrywide protests against the crime.

Residents said they believe that it was only because Ali was not publicly executed that cases of child rape continue to occur in their district.

Police, however, cautioned that in order to ensure children's safety, authorities and parents need to take preventive measures, not reactive ones.

READ MORE
Fair trial concerns plague Pakistan sexual assault cases
"We have a mob mentality, which is not going to make our society any safer for children. What we need to do, is increase awareness around sexual violence," said Sohail Tajik, a senior police official and investigator in the Chunian case.

Some of the plans authorities are discussing include using Friday prayer sermons at mosques to educate people regarding sexual abuse, a subject around which discussion remains taboo in South Asian societies.

Events are also being planned to educate parents and increase awareness about ways to keep children safer. Since Ansari's disappearance and murder, a number of such programmes have been held in schools across Kasur district.

While much has happened following Ansari's murder, however, her family says even Ali's execution last year failed to bring them closure.

"I can't bear seeing any news about child rape in Kasur. Every time such an incident happens, I feel like I'm hearing about Zainab for the first time," said Nusrat Amin, Ansari's mother.

For the victims of the latest child rapes and murders, too, their ordeal is far from over.

"I need my child's body back. I need to bury him … I just need to bury him," said Farzana Hasnain, the mother of Ali Hasnain, a 10-year-old who went missing on August 17 and whose body was found alongside Muhammad's.

As police continued their investigations, the bodies of three of the four victims had yet to be handed back to their families.

The impact of the loss in Chunian is intensified by the poverty of these families. Many said they have barely earned any income in recent months, as they left their homes in search of their children. Today, they are still paying back loans taken to print out posters asking for information on their missing children.

Why Kasur?
Even in a country where sexual abuse is widespread, the violence and scale of recent incidents in Kasur have shocked people in this Muslim-majority South Asian nation.

In 2015, journalists and police uncovered a massive child pornography ring in the town, which had made more than 400 videos of young boys engaging in sexual acts, and then blackmailed their families. Ansari was murdered last year, and the man convicted for her murder and rape also accused of raping at least eight other children.

At first glance, Kasur does not appear to be particularly more conservative than other parts of the country.
Women walk through its bazaars at night, and can be seen sitting at restaurants by themselves, which is not usually a common sight in other parts of the country.

"What differentiates Kasur from other parts of the country is the nature of brutality," said Tajik, the senior police official. "We have had serial rapists who have strangled their victims and dumped the bodies."

Men here said that sexual abuse and assault in Kasur is common, almost a rite of passage when growing up here.

Playing cricket on the street or stepping out to the playground meant being abused by older boys, said Waqas Khan, who runs several schools around Kasur. He said it was seen as a sign of masculinity for an older boy to have a child with him to perform sexual acts with.

Residents said societal reactions often vary when it comes to the gender of the child being abused. When a girl child is abused it is treated as a crime, but for the boys, it is seen in good humour, said community members.

In fact, Shahzad, the man linked to the rape and murder of the four boys in Chunian, spoke out following his arrest about his own history of suffering sexual abuse. He was abused for 12 years at the shop where he worked, he told police, who later arrested his former employer.

But for the families of the victims, who remain missing, closure is hard to come by.

"I won't even be able to see his face one last time," said Farzana Hasnain, mother of the 10-year-old who went missing in August. "There's nothing left, all that I'll see are his bones."

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/f...llings-continue-unabated-191028193228404.html
 

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Protect Pakistan’s Children from Sexual Abuse




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People chant slogans and hold signs to condemn the rape and killing of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in Kasur, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan January 11, 2018.

© 2018 Reuters
A fact long-hidden in Pakistan, shrouded in the silence of stigma, is now official. A government report has found that child sexual abuse is disturbingly common in Pakistan, with 141 cases reported in the city of Lahore alone since January 2018. Police say that at least 77 girls and 79 boys were raped or sexually assaulted.

The report found that none of the suspects had yet been convicted. That’s sadly unsurprising given that the criminal justice system in Pakistan, from the time police receive a complaint until trials are completed, is not fit for credibly and expeditiously investigating crimes, and fairly prosecuting those responsible. Poorly trained police often refuse to register complaints or investigate. Instead, they subject the victim to mistreatment and humiliation. And nowhere is this more obvious than in cases of sexual assault.

Several child rape cases have shocked Pakistan in recent months, including the rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari in Kasur, Punjab province, the rape and murder of a 5-year-old girl in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the rape of a 6-year-old girl in Sukkur, Sindh province.

But instead of improving protection services and initiating criminal justice system reforms, authorities are promoting populist measures, like pursuing the death penalty or even public executions.

That will not solve the problem. For example, the Supreme Court recently upheld the conviction of Imran Ali, who was charged with the rape and murder of at least nine girls. He was able to carry out his crime spree for so long because the police had failed to act promptly on previous complaints against him.

An average of 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported daily across Pakistan, but only a tiny proportion of such crimes are ever reported to the police, mainly for fear that child survivors will not be treated sympathetically.

The government should do better and provide more training and resources to ensure that the police, doctors, court officials, social workers, and child welfare authorities respond properly to allegations of child sexual abuse. Pakistan’s children deserve a safe childhood.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/14/protect-pakistans-children-sexual-abuse#
 

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Escape To New York: Afraid For Her Life, A Pakistani Activist Seeks Asylum



Gulalai Ismail, the Pakistani activist who fled the country after being threatened for taking a stand against sexual violence perpetrated by security forces. She was photographed in Brooklyn, where she is now seeking asylum.

Tim McDonnell/NPR
In May, one of Pakistan's most controversial women's-rights activists vanished.

Gulalai Ismail, 32, had spent much of her lifeorganizing young women and girls to push back against child marriage and assert their rights in a male-dominated society. She founded an organization, Aware Girls, that provided leadership training and produced one alumna who went on to become the world's best-known girls' education advocate and youngest-ever Nobel laureate: Malala Yousafzai.

Ismail was used to making enemies, ranging from anonymous Facebook trolls to Taliban militants. But early last year, when she began to draw attentionto the stories of women who claimed to have been raped or sexually assaulted by Pakistani security forces, she attracted the ire of her most formidable opponent yet: The country's all-powerful military and intelligence agencies.

Over the next year, she says she faced an escalating series of reprisals from the police and security officials, including intimidation, treason and terrorism charges, arrests and death threats. By the spring, after what she says was an especially harrowing 40-hour detention Pakistani intelligence officerswithout food, water or communication with her lawyer or family, Ismail began to fear for her life. She had good reason: Activists in Pakistan who anger the government have long been known to mysteriously disappear and never be seen alive again.

So in May, when a friend tipped her off that a police team was on its way to her house, she said goodbye to her parents and slipped out the door. She wasn't seen publicly again for four months.

Then, on September 19, Ismail resurfaced in New York City, having slipped out of Pakistan and leveraged her activism network to secure the support of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer for an asylum claim.

"It is clear that her life would be in danger if she were to return to Pakistan," Schumer told The New York Times.

Ismail met with NPR in Brooklyn, near the home where she's staying with two brothers and two sisters who have lived in the U.S. for several years. She chose to keep many details of her journey secret, to protect people who helped her along the way. But she discussed her high-stakes escape and her plans to redouble her fight against gender-based violence.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How does it feel to be in New York?

I had remained without any communication for four months, so it's been a bit overwhelming.

And when you live for so long in a state of insecurity it's not a magic bullet where all of a sudden you start feeling safe. Even today, if I go outside and someone is holding a camera I get a bit paranoid.

Let's back up — when did your situation with the Pakistani authorities escalate enough that you felt you had to leave the country?

In January 2018, I got involved with this group, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement. Young people from all over Pakistan had come to Islamabad protesting against extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

But only a few were women, and so with some of my friends we decided that we are going to reach out to women. It became a movement about everyone who was persecuted by despotism and the military establishment. But the moment my support for the movement started, the state of Pakistan started persecuting me.

In November, I was taken to ISI headquarters [Pakistan's equivalent to the CIA]. They told my father that if you do not make sure that your daughter is silenced, we are going to kill her.

I was glad I am seen as a threat to all these institutions of oppression. Why not? The system should feel threatened by a woman. But when I started raising the issue of sexual violence by the security forces, the situation became much more difficult for me. Many women had shared their stories of sexual violence by Pakistan's security forces. And the military did its best to silence the issue.

By that time my friends told me, 'Initially they were just intimidating you, and now it seems that they really want to harm you. And then one day they will not leave you alive.'

One morning, very early, I received a call from a friend, and she said the local media is reporting that police raid teams are prepared to come and arrest you. I went and woke my mother and father, and I told them, and I just left. I didn't know that this is my farewell to home. That was the last time I saw my parents, my sister.

Our home was raided. Dozens of police and counter-terrorism people came to arrest me. My relatives' homes were raided, my friends' homes were raided.

So where were you?

We made a list of people who could provide me protection, who were not very close to me because we knew that my family and close friends would be under surveillance.

I would usually live with them for around ten days, and then I would go to another location, so I lived in different cities of Pakistan. I did not have any mobile phone or social media.

While I was in hiding, the Pakistan state was using all its machinery to find me. Once my driver was abducted and he was tortured for eight hours to get information about me, but he didn't know anything. Then a friend was picked up. He was beaten brutally, just because he is a friend.

So in that situation, now this is not a legal battle. Now it is a battle for life. So I and my friends decided that now it's time to leave the country. But my name was on an exit control list. My pictures were pasted on all borders of Pakistan. During all this time I crossed hundreds of checkpoints, and I was just making sure they would not recognize me. I was given identity documents of different women, so I would have like a fake identity.

What can you tell me about how you managed to get to America?

I was in hiding for four months. I cannot speak about exactly when I came here. Going outside of Pakistan was a life-risking journey. There were huge chances of not justme being arrested, but also people who had been supporting me.

Once the journey started, I was among people who I had never met before, and I was the only woman. I was given a lot of respect, but I was always extremely worried about my safety. Every few days I would be among new people, and I had no other choice but to trust them.

I had a U.S. visa, it was the only visa I had. Once I moved to a country where I was safe, I took a flight to the U.S. and I landed in New York.

What did it feel like when you finally managed to leave Pakistan?

I was in a state of uncertainty and disbelief. Those strangerssat in a circle and said a prayer. They said that the world may see this journey as illegal, but for us this is not illegal, it's a battle of survival. So we just pray that we are forgiven. They kept their hands on my head, and said may God protect you. And I bent, and I touched my soil, and you know it was so painful to leave soil where you have roots.

What happened with your family after you left?

My whole family had become at risk. One day a guy came out from the car and told my sister, 'You know, you're a look-alike of Gulalai and I'm afraid that one day we will shoot you instead of her mistakenly.' I'm afraid that my parents will be tortured or harassed or arrested.

When was when was the next time you were able to speak to them?

I couldn't speak to them even when I landed in the U.S. because I was just not sure if their communication is tapped.

But when I was able to do it, it was a very brief video call and my mother and father were crying when they looked at me. I had never seen my father crying — in our culture men are not supposed to cry. They were just so glad to see me alive, because I think that they had stopped believing that I will ever manage to stay alive.

Now that you're out, what happens next?

I have paid a huge price for speaking out and for not silencing myself. In speaking about sexual violence in armed conflict, there's so much that the state is afraid of. And they would even kill people so that this crime is not exposed to the world.

I am going to speak out about it as much as I can. I will continue empowering young women, because I know that when women human rights defenders are at risk there is very little support for them. I will continue raising my voice about the human rights abuses committed by state actors in conflict zones.

When I was working in Pakistan I was able to work directly with young women, and it would give me a lot of inspiration. But the advantage that I have here is that I'm in a position where I can act as a bridge between the women of Pakistan and international policymakers.

As we're speaking, many of Pakistan's leaders are here in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. In his speech on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan accused India of committing human rights abuses in Kashmir, a subject he has raised before. How does that jibe with your story?

It's such hypocrisy. Pakistan has no moral authority, no credibility to point towards any country about their human rights abuses, when they themselves are being more authoritative and more oppressive against their own citizens.

I was one lucky person who could leave the country. But dozens of activists of the same movement are still in jail.

I condemn every human rights abuse committed in Kashmir. But what will happen in Kashmir should be decided by the people of Kashmir. If the Pakistani prime minister tries to lead the campaign for Kashmir, it harms the movement more than benefiting it.

One of the young women you worked with, Malala, became an international superstar. But her reputation within Pakistan is mixed. Some people were very opposed to her, for promoting what they see as Western, anti-Islamic values. Do you think attitudes in Pakistan toward women activists are changing?

Malala is a good friend, and I really admire what she's doing. Women activists have many more challenges than men activists. When a woman speaks up, she's not just speaking against one system of oppression. She is fighting the cultural norms, religion, the patriarchy. Many women have to fight the institution of family as well. Because she is challenging so many systems, by just existing she is seen as a threat.

Take the example of sexual violence in armed conflict. Some other men also had mentioned these incidents, but no one charged them in cases of terrorism, sedition and treason. I said the same things and I was charged. So the system feels more challenged by a woman.

However, the support that I have received back from my home is also immense. On the internet we see a lot of hate, but there is a lot of love out there as well. And I would not be alive today if people were not supporting me. So I think the attitudes are changing and people are gradually acknowledging the role of women activists.

Every time you've been arrested or intimidated, you keep coming back to protests, you keep organizing. What keeps you going?

When the most cruel forces unite to silence you, then living is resistance. Stay alive, because if you don't stay alive, you will not be able to resist. That is what I learned.

If I was arrested, if I was killed, then it would block the path for many other young women. It would have sent a message of fear, and no parents would have ever dared to raise an independent daughter, because they might face torture and death.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsa...ani-activist-vanishes-and-escapes-to-new-york
 

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How the net closed on Oxford's grooming gang

By Michael Race BBC News
  • 13 March 2020

  • Nearly a decade after the abuse of vulnerable girls in Oxford began to be addressed, following years of negligence by police and social services, the last of the so-called Operation Bullfinch trials has ended. How did the sex offenders at the centre of the city's depraved underworld finally come to face justice?

    Oxford, 2011. For nearly a year detectives have been receiving reports of girls disappearing, some as young as 13, only to return days later, refusing to tell anyone where they had been.

    Sometimes they would be bruised, bleeding and half-naked.

    For the past few months a Thames Valley Police team has been investigating the cases, but making little headway.

    But in the early hours of 14 November, the man leading the small group, Det Insp Simon Morton, made a connection that would spark the biggest criminal investigation in the city's history.

    The senior investigating officer said he had just finished debriefing a surveillance team when the "penny dropped".

    As he sat in the police briefing room and stared at the names of suspects written on a whiteboard, Mr Morton suddenly realised he wasn't looking merely at a set of sexual predators, but a highly organised crime group.

    "I started scribbling like mad," he said. "In honesty, I was annoyed I hadn't seen it before - it was so bloody obvious."

    From that moment, detectives and social workers began to identify a web of offenders and expose a criminal enterprise that involved the grooming, trafficking and rape of vulnerable girls.

    The affluent university city was soon to learn of the world of sadistic sex abuse that had been flourishing in its eastern suburbs.

    Over the past decade and through six trials, 18 victims have recounted their experiences, leading to the convictions of 21 men for offences spanning the late 1990s to the late 2000s.

    Over seven years, dozens of jurors have heard how girls were "sucked into the vortex" of the gang.

    For legal reasons, the links between the trials could not be reported until the recent conclusion of the final court case.

    The men, mostly British citizens of Pakistani origin, operated in the Cowley Road area, where student digs sit alongside family homes, and ethnic food shops and pawnbrokers neighbour hip bars and vibrant restaurants.

    The group was organised. There were those tasked with grooming, there were runners and enforcers.

    There were "friendly" estate agents who allowed access to properties where the gang's victims would be "pimped out" as sexual commodities for their abusers' financial gain.


    Media captionOne victim says she "was scared to say no"
    The younger gang members would linger outside shops and parks chatting to the girls as they passed.

    Many from dysfunctional homes, these children would be treated like grown-ups, supplied with drugs and alcohol and, as one judge said, provided with a "sense of belonging, a sense of esteem".

    Such was the gang's hold over its victims, when one of the girls was left naked and abandoned after a gang rape, it was one of her abusers she phoned for help, not her social worker or the police.

    Some of the girls contracted sexually transmitted infections and became pregnant - or both - with one 12-year-old girl, who was branded with the initial of a man who claimed to "own her", being made to have a back-room abortion.

    Image copyright TVP
    Image caption Anjum Dogar and Mohammed Karrar were sentenced again in 2018, five years after receiving life terms
    One 15-year-old victim, raped by gang ringleader Anjum Dogar and the case's most prolific offender Mohammed Karrar in 2004, told the BBC she had an abortion and did not know who the baby's father was.

    Mr Morton said the men's victims went from "one minute believing in Father Christmas and the Easter bunny and the next they are being sold" for sex.

    Unemployed Karrar would spend his days with his wife at his parents' house in Cowley and his nights with his girlfriend - when he was not carrying out horrific acts of child abuse.

    In 2005, he had two children by the two women, born less than two weeks apart.

    Dogar and his brother Akhtar, who "ruled the Cowley Road", were the ringleaders of the grooming gang and, according to the victims, the other gang members were scared of them.

    Image caption Simon Morton's final case resulted in the jailing of seven men at the Old Bailey in 2013
    The question for detectives was, if none of the girls would co-operate with social services and the police after they had been reported missing, how could their abusers be stopped?

    In Rotherham and Rochdale, similar grooming gangs were coming to light. Mr Morton visited the investigation team in Rotherham, swapping notes.

    One tactic Mr Morton's team used was to get consent from the parents of some victims to take the girls' underwear to be tested for DNA, to try to establish who was sexually abusing them.

    "We didn't start with any victims. No-one came forward... we had to find the victims and then find the offenders," Mr Morton said.

    "Normally we deal with things that are told to us, not things that aren't told to us."

    'My life has been destroyed'
    Image copyright Getty Images
    In a statement read at the sentencing of the final three defendants last month, Oxford Crown Court heard how one victim turned to crack cocaine to deal with the trauma she had experienced, which led her to a "life of crime" to fund her habit.

    She said: "I struggle to live a normal life day to day. I still have a fear of going outside. I feel my life has been taken away from me.

    "My life has been destroyed. I cannot form loving or lasting relationships with men. I have not been able to care for my children as a mother should be able to."

    The abuse survivor, now an adult, said for many years she never told anyone what had happened to her because she felt "scared and embarrassed".

    "This has ruined my chances of a normal life."

    The team checked missing persons files, care home, hospital and truancy records. Detectives managed to track down one woman who told officers she had been abused as a teenager.

    "I realised it was the same blokes she was talking about from six years earlier and it was then I realised the extent of the offending," Mr Morton said.

    "We were able to make the leap between the years and the fact they were so organised as a crime group. I was able to show it spanned all those years."

    After the first trial in 2013, seven men were jailed for crimes against six girls. Over the following years, men accused of similar crimes in Rochdale, Rotherham, Manchester and Newcastle would go on trial.

    The same day the first group of Oxford abusers was sentenced, 27 June 2013, Mr Morton retired from the force.

    Image caption One of the premises used by the gang to abuse girls was the Nanford Guest House in Oxford
    The scale of the abuse was not reflected in the cases that came to court - a serious case review published in 2015 found as many as 373 children, including 50 boys, might have been targeted in Oxfordshire over a 16-year period.

    The review found "many errors" were made across the Thames Valley force and social services, both of which "failed to see that these children were being groomed in an organised way by groups of men".

    At the time, Mr Morton said there was "no hiding" from these failures, adding that "in some aspects, calls for help were ignored".

    Despite the lengthy prison sentences given to the seven men who were convicted in 2013, Det Ch Insp Mark Glover - who replaced Mr Morton as Operation Bullfinch's lead detective - knew "there was still a lot more work to do" investigating crimes that pre-dated those that were the focus of that trial.

    Mr Glover's colleague Det Insp Nicola Douglas said "it was almost like forming a queue" in bringing further cases to court.

    She said police had to be "really honest" with the victims, who could not "expect quick justice".

    Image copyright TVP
    Image caption Mark Glover and Nicola Douglas worked on the Bullfinch investigation following the first trial in 2013
    She said victims they approached would often say "this girl called so-and-so was at the party" and provide the nicknames of the suspects.

    "Immediately, we knew this was Bullfinch-related. It was all the same names - they were names victims habitually spoke about."

    Due to the time that had passed, there was no CCTV evidence, nor were there social media or smartphone records to analyse.

    "It was about getting outside, tracking people down, finding all the records," said Mr Glover.

    Many of the victims who were identified did not want to give evidence.

    "We were knocking on people's doors, maybe professional people, who were married with families, and just the knocking on the door and saying, 'we're from Bullfinch'... it brings it all back to them," Mr Glover said.

    He said he believed his team approached between 250 and 300 women. About a dozen would give evidence over the five trials that followed the first court case.



    Media caption"I didn't know who the baby's father was"
    Senior crown prosecutor Clare Tucker said the cases were built on "a number of girls giving evidence of a similar nature about one particular man".

    "It was putting together a set of circumstances that the jury could comfortably be sure was believable and that was what had happened," she said.

    The prosecutor, who prepared the case files for every trial, said evidence of how girls had been "groomed over the years" was key to showing "they weren't really consenting, they were submitting".

    For Mr Morton, the investigation his team started has changed policing forever.

    "There's a crime category [child sexual exploitation] that in the past hadn't existed and all of sudden, once you realise that there's all this abuse going on in every city and nearly every town, it makes you realise how many victims there are out there - how many young girls are being picked off the street and turned into something they're not."

    Mr Glover, who retired in 2018 but returned to Thames Valley Police as a civilian investigator, accepts that the end of Operation Bullfinch is not the conclusion of this harrowing story.

    "There are a lot of men who have escaped justice," he said.

    "There's a lot of males out there who must be sweating a little bit because they know that we know."

    If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find help here.
 

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Chinese student accuses Pakistani professor of sexual harassment

by News Desk , (Last Updated March 6, 2020)

A three-member committee has been formed in Malakand University to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment brought by a Chinese student against her professor, according to a media report.

The report said a Chinese student, who has been pursuing her MPhil in the university, has levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment against a senior professor in the Department of English. The university has formed a three-member committee to probe the matter, the report said.

The committee, according to the report, has held four meetings so far and it will submit its report soon.

The university’s spokesman, Fida Khan, declined to comment till submission of the committee’s report.

He only said that an “unofficial email has been made to an unofficial address” in which allegations of sexual harassment have been made against a professor of the university.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/20...ccuses-pakistani-professor-sexual-harassment/
 

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Karachi men kidnap, 'hypnotise' woman before sexual assault: police

KARACHI: A man repeatedly assaulted and raped a woman here after hypnotising her in the city's Sachal area, according to a first information report (FIR) registered Wednesday over the matter.

In her statement to the police, based on which the FIR was filed, the woman said she was waiting at the Punjab Bus Adda (or Stand) in Gulzar-e-Hijri when a car stopped and two men forced her to sit inside.

At that time, there was another unconscious woman inside the car, she observed, adding that the kidnappers threw the other woman on the Punjab Bus Adda before driving off with her. She mentioned that the men took her to an apartment complex in the same area.

As the door opened, "a man looked into my eyes and blew something on my face that made me fall unconscious on the spot", she said, adding that the man in the house severely beat her and sexually assaulted her multiple times and filmed the ordeal as well.

"That same man," she continued, "left me in the public around 7pm," which is when she called her sister who informed the woman's husband.

Police subsequently carried out a raid at the apartment the survivor told them about and found another unconscious woman there. The alleged rapist escaped by climbing down the buildings' pipes, they added.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/275708-karachi-men-kidnap-hypnotise-woman-before-sexual-assault-police
 

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Christian teen kidnapped, raped, married; Pakistani court OKs
A court in Pakistan – which approximately 98% Muslim – is thwarting efforts by Christian parents to get their kidnapped daughter back.

International Christian Concern (ICC) Regional Manager William Stark says that in Pakistan, young girls being kidnapped is one of the chief problems faced by Christians and other religious minorities – who are greatly outnumbered in the second-largest Muslim nation in the world – only behind Indonesia.

“They are then forcefully married to one of their kidnappers, often raped and sexual violence is used as a weapon within this issue,” Stark explained. “And then they are forcibly converted to Islam – in order to help kind of seal the kidnapping and seal the crime in a way.”

Muslims above the law?

One of the more recent cases involves 14-year-old Younas, a Christian, who was kidnapped in Karachi and forced to marry her kidnapper. Her husband provided false papers that made her out to be 18.

Stark was recently in Pakistan and visited with the girl's parents, who filed a lawsuit in order to get their daughter back.

“Unfortunately, February 3 was the most recent hearing by this high court, and instead of finding with settled law – which is the settled law of Sindh, which is the province in which this happened [where] marriages of [youth] under 18 [are] illegal – they decided to supersede that with Sharia Law,” Stark recounted. “The marriage is legal under Islam.”

Her mother voiced her disdain for the oppressive and unjust Shariah law the treats non-Muslims as having less rights than those who ascribe to Islam.

"[The state has shown itself unable to treat Christians as Pakistan citizens," Younas’ mother contended, according to CBN News.

The parents have vowed to continue the fight and will take it to Pakistan's Supreme Court – if necessary – to obtain justice.

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https://onenewsnow.com/persecution/...n-kidnapped-raped-married-pakistani-court-oks
 

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Man arrested for raping dead women in Okara

OKARA: A man was arrested for rape with women bodies at Joiya Sharif village.

Ashraf of Khanpur had been living with his nephew, who was the caretaker of a graveyard, for the last many years. The people, whose relatives were buried there, got suspicious when they found digging of graves. On Friday night, the villagers caught accused Ashraf red-handed when he was raping a dead woman after exhuming her body.

Later, the accused was handed over to the police. During interrogations, the accused told the police that he used to commit the evil act whenever a woman was buried in the graveyard.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/622227-man-arrested-for-raping-dead-women-in-okara
 

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Rickshaw driver hired for school pick-and-drop allegedly rapes six-year-old


Geo.tv/Illustration/Files
GUJRANWALA: A rickshaw driver hired to provide pick-and-drop services to a schoolgirl allegedly raped her on the way home in the city's Tatle Ali area, police confirmed on Monday, adding that the suspect had been arrested.

According to police, the alleged child molester confessed to raping the six-year-old.

On the other hand, a man selling baby chicks on a cycle attempted to sexually assault a 14-year-old girl after breaking into her home in Santpura, police said. He, too, was arrested.

Neighbours caught the man red-handed and handed him over to authorities when the teen cried for help, police said.

Both cases are being investigated separately, police confirmed.
https://www.geo.tv/latest/270531-ri...ol-pick-and-drop-allegedly-rapes-six-year-old
 

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Justice for Jennifer: 10 years old raped and killed, Rahim Yar Khan


Rahim Yar Khan: Another innocent little girl has been sexually assaulted in Rahim Yar Khan. Please raise your voice for Justice for Jennifer.

Jennifer, a ten-year-old girl was found brutally raped and killed from the fields of sugar cane.

The body was found in her school uniform from Mouza Chandra Wali of Janpur, Rahim Yar Khan.

ustice for Jennifer
Little Jennifer lost her life to another inhuman act of a child abuser.

The crime against children has been increasing and somehow the Government has failed to control this heinous crime.

There will always be a Zainab and a Jennifer unless these child abusers and severely punished with no mercy.

Innocent little boys and girls will go through these brutal tortures regardless of age, color, caste, and religion if these criminals are not severely punished.

These child abusers deserve no mercy.

https://www.incpak.com/national/justice-for-jennifer-raped-and-killed-rahim-yar-khan/
 

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Young Christian Girl Assaulted in Kidnapping Attempt in Pakistan

04/15/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On April 9, a young Christian girl named Ishrat was assaulted by a group of Muslim men in the village of Qutiba, located in the Kasur district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. According to a statement given to police, the Muslim men were attempting to kidnap Ishrat after she refused to convert to Islam and marry one of the assailants.

The April 9 assault took place while Ishrat was walking in the street in Qutiba. There, a group of Muslim men approached her and asked her to convert to Islam and marry Asim, one of the men in the group. When Ishrat refused, the men beat Ishrat, made derogatory remarks against Ishrat and Christianity, and attempted to kidnap Ishrat. The kidnapping, however, was averted as local villagers intervened.

According to Ishrat, another man in the group named Ijaz had been harassing her before the assault. Ishrat claims that Ijaz followed her for a long time in an attempt to develop a physical relationship.

Ishrat and her family reported the assault to local police. However, after reporting the incident, a group of armed Muslims attacked Ishrat’s family home. According to Ishrat’s family, the group threatened the family with severe consequences for “creating hurdles to their mission.

Assaults on women and girls from Pakistan’s religious minority communities are unfortunately common. According to a study led by The Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan, an estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community are assaulted, kidnapped, forcefully married to their assailant, and forcefully converted to Islam every year.

The issue of religion is often injected into cases of sexual assault to place religious minority victims at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, assailants know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing an element of religion.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].

https://www.persecution.org/2020/04/15/young-christian-girl-assaulted-kidnapping-attempt-pakistan/
 

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In Pakistan, Muslim Clerics Habitually Rape Kids. Almost All Get Away With It.
By Terry Firma

Since early 2013, when I began blogging about religion, I’ve written so many posts about child sexual assaults by clergy members that when a new case presents itself, I can’t think of a halfway original opening sentence. Some days, I see a new(s) account of a religious authority’s sex abuse, and guiltily neglect to write about it for this site. Why? Sometimes I’m just too numb, and sometimes too emotionally susceptible to dive in (this stuff will mess up your mood). Shamefully, I’m often just… uninspired by the case — and I hate that.

How fucked up is it that I can read about a priest forcing an altar boy to touch him, a rabbi rubbing up against a young girl from his congregation, an imam caught fondling a frightened child, and nix it as blog material because, number one, we’ve seen worse (oy!), and number two, for my own sanity, I just can’t write another story (and another, and another) on the topic?

That said, here’s a hard-to-swallow piece that deserves attention and a trigger warning: Child Sex Abuse in Pakistan’s Religious Schools Is Endemic. From the Associated Press, via the New York Times:


An investigation by The Associated Press found dozens of police reports, known here as First Information Reports, alleging sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse by Islamic clerics teaching in madrassas or religious schools throughout Pakistan, where many of the country’s poorest study…

Police say the problem of sexual abuse of children by clerics is pervasive and the scores of police reports they have received are just the tip of the iceberg. Yet despite the dozens of reports, none have resulted in the conviction of a cleric. Religious clerics are a powerful group in Pakistan and they close ranks when allegations of abuse are brought against one of them.

Sound familiar? Yes. Yes it does.

[They’ve] been able to hide the widespread abuse by accusing victims of blasphemy or defamation of Islam.

Families in Pakistan are often coerced into “forgiving” clerics, said Deputy Police Superintendent Sadiq Baloch… Overcome by shame and fear that the stigma of being sexually abused will follow a child into adulthood, families choose instead to drop the charges, he said.

There is nothing remotely defensible about secular abusers either, especially not if they’re people who hold power over their young victim, like teachers and coaches. To me, though, assaults are more maddening still if they’re perpetrated by those who’ve made a career out of pretending to be munificent parsers of right and wrong — God’s holy sidekicks, divinely inspired to choose good and fight evil.


These plaster saints stack hypocrisy on top of selfishness and callousness.
Sadiq Baloch, the police superintendent, may feel the same way.

It is the hypocrisy of some of these mullahs, who wear the long beard and take on the cloak of piety only to do these horrible acts behind closed doors, while openly they criticize those who are clean shaven, who are liberal and open minded,” Baloch said. “In our society so many of these men, who say they are religious, are involved in these immoral activities.”

In one recent case, Muhimman, an eight-year-old boy from Punjab province, accused Qari Shamsuddin, an Islamic preacher, of having raped and beaten him to within an inch of his life. The charge was borne out by the examining physician’s report as well as DNA evidence, and the cleric was arrested. Soon, however, his colleagues and supporters undertook the dirty work of gaslighting the accuser and protecting the holy man’s reputation.

[F]ellow clerics and worshippers at the Madrassah-e-Taleem-ul-Quran mosque located in a remote region of northwest Pakistan dispute the charges. They say Shamsuddin is innocent, the victim of anti-Islamic elements in the country. The clerics and worshippers also say the accusation is part of a conspiracy to discredit Pakistan’s religious leaders and challenge the supremacy of Islam.

And then the rest of the village got involved — many choosing the side of the alleged rapist. Muhimman’s aunt Shazia recounts that after the rape of her nephew,

… villagers came to their home and pleaded with them to forgive the cleric.

Even the neighbors who are inclined to believe the boy aren’t sure that justice will — or should — prevail. Some hope that the whole sordid affair will just go away.

According to the AP reporters,

They seemed angry but also resigned to the fact that [the preacher] would not be jailed.

Even for the pious fondlers and the godly rapists, there is no eternal punishment, no hell. In Pakistan, most don’t even receive punishment in this life… and religion is the biggest reason why.

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com...tually-rape-kids-almost-all-get-away-with-it/
 

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Study reveals rampant abuse of pupils in Pakistan’s religious schools


AN investigation by The Associated Press has uncovered dozens of police reports alleging sexual harassment, rape and physical abuse by Islamic clerics teaching in madrassas or religious schools throughout Pakistan

The AP also documented cases of abuse through interviews with law enforcement officials, abuse victims and their parents.

There are more than 22,000 registered madrassas in Pakistan, teaching more than 2 million children. But there are many more religious schools that are unregistered.

They are typically started by a local cleric in a poor neighborhood, attracting students with a promise of a meal and free lodging. There is no central body of clerics that governs madrassas. Nor is there a central authority that can investigate or respond to allegations of abuse by clerics.

Police say the problem of sexual abuse of children by clerics is pervasive and the scores of police reports they have received are just the tip of the iceberg.

Religious clerics are a powerful group in Pakistan and they close ranks when allegations of abuse are brought against one of them. They have been able to hide the widespread abuse by accusing victims of blasphemy or defamation of Islam.

Overcome by shame and fear that the stigma of being sexually abused will follow a child into adulthood, families choose instead to drop the charges. Most often, when a family forgives the cleric the investigation ends because the charges are dropped.

Families are often coerced into “forgiving” clerics, said Deputy Police Superintendent Sadiq Baloch, speaking in his office in the country’s northwest, toward the border with Afghanistan. He said:

It is the hypocrisy of some of these mullahs, who wear the long beard and take on the cloak of piety only to do these horrible acts behind closed doors, while openly they criticize those who are clean shaven, who are liberal and open minded. In our society so many of these men, who say they are religious, are involved in these immoral activities.

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Police officials say they have no idea how many children are abused by religious clerics in Pakistan. The officials said clerics often target young boys who have not yet reached puberty in part because of the restrictive nature of Pakistan’s still mostly conservative society, where male interaction with girls and women is unacceptable. The clerics for the most part had access to and trust with boys, who are less likely to report a sexual assault.

Eight-year-old Yaous from Pakistan’s remote northern Kohistan region is one of those boys who claims that he was sexually assaulted in a mosque by cleric Qari Shamsuddin, who beat the boy with a stick, then held him prisoner for two days, during which time he was repeatedly raped.

The boy was was so badly injured that he had to be hospitalised. A medic – Dr Faisal Manan Salarzai – ascertained that he had been sexually assaulted and told Yaous’ uncle, who refused to believe that frail child, small for his age, had been raped. He told the doctor:
If news spreads in our area that he has been sexually assaulted it will be very difficult for him to survive in our area.

Said Solarzai:

He was not willing to talk about it or even think that he was sexually assaulted.

But the evidence was overwhelming and the doctor contacted the police. The cleric was arrested and is now in jail. But despite the arrest, fellow clerics and worshippers at the Madrassah-e-Taleem-ul-Quran mosque located in a remote region of northwest Pakistan dispute the charges. They say Shamsuddin is innocent, the victim of anti-Islamic elements in the country.

The clerics and worshippers also say the accusation is part of a conspiracy to discredit Pakistan’s religious leaders and challenge the supremacy of Islam, a rallying cry often used by right-wing religious clerics seeking to enrage mobs to assert their power.

Yaous’ father, Abdul Qayyum, said he was ashamed he had not spoken to his son in more than three months before the attack happened.

I want this mullah hanged. Nothing else will do.

Young boys are not the only victims of sexual abuse by clerics. Many young girls like Misbah have also been targeted by religious leaders. Said she was raped in the mosque next door to her home where she had been studying the Quran for three years.

The assault happened one morning after she stayed behind to sweep the mosque. The other children had been sent home and the cleric, someone she trusted, asked Misbah to help.

I had just began to clean when he slammed shut the mosque door. I didn’t know why and then he suddenly grabbed me and pulled me into a nearby room. I was screaming and shouting and crying.

She couldn’t say how long the assault went on. All she could remember was screaming for her father to help her but he wouldn’t stop.

It was her uncle, Mohammed Tanvir, who rescued her. He had been on his way to college but stopped at the mosque to use the washroom. He noticed a pair of child’s shoes outside the door.

Then I heard screaming from inside, she was screaming for her father.

He smashed the door down saw his niece sprawled and naked on the floor. “It looked as if she had fainted,” he said. Her blood-stained pants were in a corner. The cleric knelt at his feet.

“‘Forgive me’ he kept saying to me,’” Tanvir recalled. The cleric was arrested but freed on bail.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefr...use-of-pupils-in-pakistans-religious-schools/
 

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She's an adult as she has had her 1st period: Pak judges on minor Catholic girl's forced conversion, marriage

Pakistan judges maintained that if the girl, who was abducted, converted and forcefully married off to a muslim man, has already had her first 'menstrual cycle', then she would be considered an adult under the Islamic Shariah Law, making her marriage legal and justified.


 

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GANG RAPE ORDEAL Asian(Ignore the wokeness, its PAKISTANI) grooming gang victim was raped by 300 men before she was 15 and often ‘ten at once

 

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