In an exceptional decision, a Pakistani court sentenced Muslim man to 25 years in prison for raping a Christian girl child. The victim Sahiba was just two and a half years old when Muhammad Abbas sexually assaulted her. Bahawalnagar court after hearing the case handed down maximum punishment to Muhammad Abbas along with a fine.
On June 8, Friday, Additional Session Judge Rana Tariq Mehmood Anjum while hearing the case pronounced Muhammad Abbas guilty and sentenced him to 25 years in jail, and ordered him to pay a fine of 150,000 rupees. The heinous act unfolded on December 17, 2016 when Muhammad Abbas brutally raped Saiba at her own house. Abbas was a friend of Altaf Masih elder brother of Saiba. Abbas arrived at Altaf’s house when Saiba and her other brother Daud were alone at home. Abbas sent Daud to a local store to buy cigarettes for him. While Daud was away, Abbas brutally raped Saiba.
Saiba’s 10-year-old brother Daud narrates the incident saying that he was prevented from entering the house by Abbas. “When Abbas bhai came to my home I was pleased to see him, he was my brothers friend after all. He asked me to buy him some cigarettes from the local store and I duly obliged him because he was my elder.
When I returned home the front door was locked and I could hear Saiba crying and screaming louder then I have ever heard her scream before. I knew there was a problem and banged loudly on the door but no-one was opening the door for me,” Daud told British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).
He went on to detail the horror tale saying: “I first thought that she was fearful of being alone and had been left in the house alone while Abbas Bhai had gone back to work or something, because I had taken some time to return from the shops. I called out to her to comfort and let her know I was there, but she just continued screaming then I heard other strange noises and realized someone else was in the house.
I did not know what to do so just waited outside and then the door to my home suddenly swung open. Abbas Bhai came out took the cigarettes gave me an eerie smile and then lit a cigarette and ran away from our home. When I entered the home I realized something bad had happened.”
“Saiba was naked, covered in blood and would not stop screaming. I picked her up to see if she had a severe wound but the bleeding seemed to have stopped. I hugged and comforted her while I waited for my mum. When my mum came minutes later she cleaned the blood off Saiba’s naked body and wrapped her in a towel. We both hugged her to bring some peace to her”, BPCA quoted Daud.
The traumatized family approached the local police station but were shunned. Later with the help of a Christian MP the case was registered. Muhammad Abbas was arrested, and was tried by a court in Chistian.