Persecution watchdog groups are raising awareness for a Christian Pakistani girl who was killed earlier this month after she and her friends rejected the sexual advances of drunken Muslim men in Lahore, Defence Colony.
The British Pakistani Christian Association reported last week that the incident occurred on Jan. 13, when three young Christian girls, Kiran (17 years), Shamroza (18 years) and Sumble (20 years), were approached on the streets at night by four allegedly drunk Muslim men in a car. The girls rejected the lewd advances of the men, which caused them to turn violent.
"How dare you run away from us, Christian girls are only meant for one thing, the pleasure of Muslim men," one of the men reportedly said.
The men then crashed their car right into the girls, breaking several of Shamroza's ribs and Sumble's hip. Kiran, meanwhile, was lifted up from the ground on the hood of the car, and driven until the car suddenly stopped, throwing her rapidly to the ground, where her head cracked open. She suffered internal bleeding and died.
"All three families are really shook-up, Shamroza and Sumble are grateful to God for saving them but have been inconsolable at the loss of a close friend. Other girls in the local area are now too scared to travel at night and are being accompanied by the men in their families. The community wants justice for poor Kiran and seeks an end to the targeting of young Christian girls," said Naveed Aziz of the BPCA.
The families of the Christian girls even had to pay a bribe to police in order to have a First Incident Report registered, given how unwilling police in Pakistan are to help Christian victims of violence.
"The family are calling for a murder enquiry but because of the wealthy status of the young men, little hope exists that justice will prevail. Police are said to be doing little to apprehend the young men and are allegedly delaying the investigative process. Often in such cases evidence goes missing and witnesses are either threatened or bought out by the families of wealthy criminals in a country where corruption is rife and lauded," the organization said.
International Christian Concern also reported on the crime, noting that Christians are "considered second class citizens" by the Muslim majority in the country.
Christian girls and women are often the subject of such violence, and there were numerous internationally reported cases from last year.
Late in November, American Center for Law and Justice affiliated group Organization for Legal Aid in Pakistan prepared charges in the case of an 8-year-old Christian girl who was beaten and left naked on the streets by a Muslim family that wanted to punish her uncle for an interreligious relationship.
BPCA has, meanwhile, started a petition for victims like Kiran, and has also set up a donation fund where people can financially contribute to the work that goes to helping Christian families.
"This act of violence should be met with the strong arm of the law. In any other nation the perpetrators would be arrested, convicted for murder and sentenced for a long term. In Pakistan, however, the poor go to prison and the wealthy commit whatever crime they wish with impunity. Violence against Christians is rarely investigated and highly unlikely to be met with justice," said Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA.