Reports indicate that a 12-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped and repeatedly raped for months on end by a radical Islamic group in Pakistan. The girl, whose name has been withheld (she is referred to as "Miss Anna" by at least one human rights group) to protect her privacy, was apparently abducted after a friend lured her onto a shopping trip.
But what originally started as a fun day out with her friend quickly turned ugly. Instead of going on a shopping spree, the young girl was driven 120 miles and was subsequently raped by the friend's uncle back in January 2011. This was the beginning of what would become a tragic nightmare that has yet to conclude.
Two days later, the girl was purportedly forced to sign marriage papers, thus officially tying her to her captor. Then, she was purportedly beaten for refusing to convert from Christianity to Islam. What followed was an eight-month "prison" sentence during which she was held against her will.
According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the rapists have ties to a militant Muslim organization called Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. AHRC also reports that it is precisely because of this affiliation that the perpetrators have not yet been arrested. In fact, the police have apparently been ignoring reports of her disappearance since January (when her father first reported her missing).
The AHRC has more about the girl's rescue:
In the first week of September 2011, more than eight months after her disappearance, Anna called her family from Tandianwalla, district Faisalabad, 190 kilometers from Lahore, and told them that she had been abducted but had escaped and was hiding at a bus stop. The parents went there and recovered her. She was brought back to her home and the parents produced her before the First Class Magistrate, factory area, Shadra, Miss Aasma Tehseen, who recorded her statement under section 164 of Cr Pc but did not order any action for her protection or a medical checkup.
While she inevitably escaped and has been reunited with her family, the drama is far from over. According to AHRC, the police have allegedly told her parents that it would be better to hand her over to her "legal" husband than for a criminal case to unfold against them.
Now, the family is in hiding and members of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba are searching for them. Even more bizarre, the group has claimed that the young girl is pregnant, a claim that her mother denies.
The British Pakistani Christian Association has launched a petition to encourage the Pakistani government to investigate the incident.
This story comes after a report this summer that a disturbing trend is developing in Pakistan, as young Christian and Hindu women are increasingly being raped and forced to convert to Islam. Radical Pakistani clerics have also called the Bible "blasphemous" and have sought to ban it.
(H/T: Mail Online)