October 12, 2011
We urge the British Government to engage with the Pakistani Government to see justice done to the victim of this despicable act of debauchery and her family.
In Pakistan religious groups are known to abduct girls from religious minority groups whore are then raped and forced into Islamic marriages. These victims are then denied acces to their parents and family – others are simply never heard form again. The law enforcement authorities avoid prosecution of such perpetrators because they feel religious groups are doing great work in the name of Islam. An ensuing struggle to access victims rights to redress is recorded in numerous cases in which police have ignored or excused themselves from investigating crimes that involve a Madrassa or Muslim cleric. The protection of the national religion does not involve the promotion of it’s figureheads above the law; this tendency has simply allowed Islam to become a shield behind which human rights violations can take place.
The significant increase in forced marriage and forcible conversion by Muslim extremists may owe in part to the aversion of the state to protect the rights of religious minorities. The U.S. State Department 2009 Human Rights Report for Pakistan concludes that both organic reluctance and outside pressure contribute to the courts’ religious bias: Courts routinely failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Judges were pressured to take strong action against any perceived offense to Sunni orthodoxy. The judiciary rarely heard discrimination cases dealing with religious minorities. Other manifestations of religious bias include socially condoned instances of harassment at work.