Mother and very young daughter kidnapped and gang-raped in Pakistan

Mother and her four-year-old daughter are kidnapped and gang-raped for two weeks after attackers lured her with promise of work at a hospital in Pakistan

  • The woman was a Karachi hospital worker who had been offered lucrative work  
  • A Kashmore man named Rafiq Malik has been arrested and questioned by police
  • Police are still searching for two male accomplices suspected in the case
  • Attack came two months after unprecedented protests in Pakistan over the rape of a woman who was attacked in front of her children and blamed by police

A mother and her four-year-old daughter were kidnapped and gang-raped for two weeks in Pakistan after attackers lured the woman with false promises of well-paid work.

A man has been arrested for the violent crime which took place in Kashmore, a district in Pakistan’s Sindh province, police said on Tuesday. 

He has been identified as Rafiq Malik, a resident of Kashmore who owned land there, Pakistani news network Samaa reported, adding that police are questioning Malik after he was remanded in custody for three days.

Police continue to search for his two accomplices. 

Neither the woman nor her child have been named but it is believed the mother was a hospital worker from Karachi who had been persuaded to attend to someone after the suspects offered her a large sum of money for the work. 

Thereafter, the woman and her daughter were abducted by the group. 

A man has been arrested for the abduction and gang-rape of a woman and her child in Kashmore, Pakistan. Police are still searching for two male accomplices involved in the attacks, which took place over 15 days  [Stock photo]

‘The suspects kidnapped them and kept them in custody for 15 days,’ Samaa reported a police officer as saying.

The men reportedly raped the woman and her child repeatedly over that time.

The group then released the mother and told her to bring them more women from Karachi. Meanwhile, they kept her daughter, threatening to murder her if the woman did not comply with their demand.

Samaa reported that the woman immediately went to police in Kashmore who were able to find and rescue her daughter. 

The child is reportedly in a critical condition at a hospital in the city of Larkana. On Wednesday, a medical examination confirmed that the woman and her child had been gang-raped, according to Samaa. 

Last month, the rape of a woman outside Lahore sparked unprecedented protests and calls from international rights groups for Pakistan to reform its judicial system.

The woman’s car had ran out of petrol while she was out with her two children. She called for assistance but was dragged from the vehicle and raped by two men as she waited by the side of the road, Just Earth News reported.

In September, the rape of a woman in front of her two children on the side of a road sparked unprecedented protests after the police officer in charge of the investigation appeared to blame the woman for her rape. He said she should have driven on a busier road during the day and checked that she had enough petrol. The woman was waiting for roadside assistance when she was attacked. Pictured: Protesters in Karachi in September [File photo]

Pakistan has harsh sentences for rape but convictions are rare in the country where sexual and gender-based violence towards women is pervasive. Pictured: A woman holds a placard during a protest in Lahore after a woman was raped outside of the city and police appeared to blame her for the attack [File photo]

Protests erupted after the lead investigator Umar Sheikh suggested the woman was to blame for the attack, saying she should have travelled on a busier road during the day and checked her petrol before setting out.

Amnesty International released a message in support of protesters saying: ‘There have been too many victims and too few convictions of perpetrators in a criminal justice system characterised by impunity.’

The BBC reported that Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted: ‘For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang-raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable & have taken up this issue. 

‘Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That’s it.’ 

In recent years, increasingly-vocal and social media-savvy feminists have been challenging the social norms that influence the way rape cases are handled. Pictured: Protesters in Lahore demonstrate against the mishandling of a rape case in September [File photo]

Convicted rapists in Pakistan face a sentence of between 10 and 25 years in prison or the death penalty.

For gang-rape, the punishment is the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

However, ineffective investigation and prosecution of rape cases are commonplace in the country where sexual and gender-based violence towards women is pervasive. 

Many women fear they will be shamed or persecuted by police and others if they come forward.

In recent years, increasingly-vocal and social media-savvy feminists have been challenging the social norms that influence the way rape cases are handled in Pakistan.  

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