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Published On: Wed, Jan 16th, 2019

Pakistan: Christian mother and daughter illegally detained and tortured

Christian cousins Saima and Salma of Chak Jhumra, Faisalabad (Pakistan), and Saima’s mother Kausar Rehana have been illegally detained for thirteen days in Jhumra police station and tortured by the male policemen.

Saima had been working as a domestic worker at the house of mill owner and politically influential Rana Saif for three and half years.

According to the police report when the whole family was on the first floor, and Saima was alone and working on the ground, she stole all the jewelry totaling Pak RS. 1900, 000 – roughly equal to £11000 – from their house.

photo/ OpenClipartvectors

According to Saima’s brother and her father, Mushtaq, Saima is innocent, but she was due to marry next month, meaning she would no long be able to work for Rana.

Rana was angry after being told he needed to find someone else and on December 27 he accused her of stealing a large amount of jewelry from his house to pressurise the family.

These are normal tactics to punish domestic servants in Pakistan. Most of the time they are not even considered human and such cases can be seen very often in the media.

According to the family Rana and his family tortured Saima into a false confession before handing her over to police.

Before giving her to the police officers, they told Saima that if she returned the stolen valuables they pardon her, but as she had not taken them in the first place, she could not return the stolen jewellery.

At last Rana used his political influence and asked the police to arrest Saima, her mother Rehana and Salma a guest who was staying at their house.

Salma was released from the police station after the news spread on social media and the involvement of Ajaz Augustine, Human rights Minister of Punjab.

To cover up their illegal actions, on 9th  January the police registered a case against the women.

According to Saima’s brother Saima and her mother were slapped in the face, dragged by their hair, abused and kicked in their stomach.

Saima was forced to drink boiling water, her hands and legs were tied up during the torture and she was made to do 100 push ups.

It was all to force her into a false confession of stealing jewellery.

She is in bad condition but according to her family, Rana Saif, Rana Niaz, Saif ‘s uncle and the police officer pressured Saima and forcefully took her thumb print to confirm that she doesn’t want a medical examination.

Since this matter has attracted the public and media’s attention, and the police’s hierarchy and government ministers have got involved, the inspector has been suspended from post and an inquiry has been initiated against them.

According to the law, any female accused has to be arrested and detained in a women’s police station but instead Saima and the other women were illegally incarcerated in the male police station and even tortured by male policemen.

Nasir Saeed Director of CLAAS-UK has said that violence and such fake cases are registered everyday against domestic servants, and the police break the law every day, but nobody cares.

He added that the Government and politicians are all aware, but nobody takes action against the law breaking and corrupt policer officers. Unfortunately, when it comes to the matter of Christian girls and women no one pays any attention.

Mr Saeed further said: “I am personally aware of such several cases and I have met several girls who were implicated in fake cases and were sent to jail.

“Saima’s case must be investigated properly by the high-ranking police officers, and the responsible police officer and Rana must be punished.

“Justice must be done to Saima, and to stop this corrupt practice the government must take this matter seriously.”

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About the Author

- Director CLAAS-UK About CLAAS: Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) is an interdenominational organisation working for Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith in Pakistan. CLAAS works for religious freedom, to stop persecution of Christians in Pakistan because of blasphemy and other discriminatory laws, raise awareness, disseminate information and highlight the plight of Christians on an international level. CLAAS provides free legal aid to victims of religious intolerance in Pakistan, as well as shelter and financial support for the victims and their families.

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