Lahore (AsiaNews) - In protest against violence against children ,
especially sexual abuse, which occur with increasing frequency in the country ,
especially in poor rural areas and major urban centers . This
afternoon, 21 September, Christians and Muslims will take part in a demonstration
called by Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation, an independent NGO , inspired
by the memory of Pakistani Catholic
leader Cecil Chaudhry, who was active in defending the rights of societies
weakest and minorities. Among
the many cases that have emerged in recent reports , the activists of the
foundation are asking for justice for a child of only five years of age who was
brutally raped in the past few days and abandoned in (still ) critical conditions
at a hospital in Lahore , Punjab .
On 12 September a little girl was found in a critical condition in the vicinity of the city hospital, after being kidnapped the previous day and subjected to severe sexual abuse. She lived in a small neighborhood of the city and, as confirmed by the doctors, "she was raped several times" and is hospitalized in intensive care.
The incident has shaken the conscience of most of Pakistan's civil society, with shocked responses appearing on forums and in social media with reference to the recent cases in neighboring India, with the death sentence of New Delhi rapists. The tragedy of child sexual abuse may further hinder the development of a nation still backward and plagued by terrorism and Islamist extremism. Already in recent days have been repeated demonstrations and appeals to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government for justice and punishment for the gang who abused the girl in Lahore.
In their appeal launching street protests scheduled for today , the NGO Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation point the finger at the police, who are still groping in the dark and have found no useful elements for the capture of the perpetrators . Moreover, there are various cases of violence against children, including a gang rape of a four year old child in Faisalabad - perpetrated by the principal of a school , inside the building, along with three other accomplices - and sexual violence (again, gang violence) repeated for four days against a girl of 14 years, again in Faisalabad. Activists demand justice for her and all the other victims of child sexual assault cases , as well as practical application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child ( CRC ) , signed by Islamabad in 1990 but has remained hitherto disregarded and never applied in the courtroom .
The Cecil Chaudhry & Iris Foundation is inspired by and pays tribute to the memory of Cecil Chaudhry , Pakistani aviation hero , a Catholic activist and human rights activist involved in the education of poor and disabled children . Great friend and collaborator of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for minorities murdered March 2, 2011 , the former military officer died April 13 of last year in Lahore, after a long battle against cancer. Chaudhry has also been an active supporter of the National Commission for Justice and Peace and for 14 years led the campaign in 2002 that led to the restoration of universal suffrage.
The sentence was pronounced today. The bench of Justices does not want to address into the aspect of marital rape. Child marriages are already forbidden by the law, but the tradition continues unchanged in the villages.