Pakistani police have booked three men for rape after a hospital confirmed an unmarried deaf and mute woman’s pregnancy.
“Doctors at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital have confirmed that the victim is six months pregnant and the police have registered a case on complaint of the victim’s brother,” stated a police official.
Admitted at the age of 12 to a vocational training institute and rehabilitation centre. She was provided pick and drop facility by the administration of the institute, which was run by a retired army officer and his nephew.
The victims brother said that about six months ago, his sister ahd [sic] tried to explain through sign language that one of her colleagues had given her a glass of orange juice which had caused her to lose consciousness. A man drove her to the friend’s home later, where a third unidentified man injected her with something. She was then raped.
A week ago, the girl was taken to the hospital where doctors told her shocked parents that the girl was six months pregnant. Her brother blamed the administration for failing to provide protection to his sister and, now, for harrasing [sic] his family.
She previously complained of kidney pain, but none of the doctors mentioned the pregnancy. Her brother went to the police, but they “refused to register a case against the accused.” He went to the area’s local council chairman, who intervened for the family.
In October, three Muslim men raped a deaf Christian woman while her male family members were at work. The woman screamed for help, but no one answered her calls. Her relatives sought out Christian lawyer Sardar Mustaq Gill, who filed the first information report.
He admitted, though, the accused may not face prosecution: “It’s very difficult to get a punishment for those responsible,” he said. “Often in these cases the police take no action or, worse, side with the rapists.”
Christian families or witnesses are pressured to withdraw complaints. Violence against women and children of religious minorities, the weak and vulnerable, is widespread in Pakistan and is often carried out in silence. The cases and the stories do not come to light and when victims talk about it, they are intimidated.
Pakistan enacted Hudood Law in 1979, which allowed Islamization of laws. Courts ban “all forms of adultery, whether the offense is committed with or without the consent of the parties.” In 2002, a court convicted Zafran Bibi for adultery, even though her brother-in-law raped her. The man impregnated her, which was all the proof the judge needed.
“The illegitimate child is not disowned by her and therefore is proof of zina [Islamic laws about sexual relations],” said Judge Ali Khan. “The lady stated before this court that, yes, she had committed sexual intercourse, but with the brother of her husband. This left no option to the court but to impose the highest penalty.”