'When will I get justice?' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘When will I get justice?’

A gang rape victim has moved the Supreme Court and is hopeful that her case will be heard

ISLAMABAD: Books like My Feudal Lord and Blasphemy tell tales much like what Saima Bibi* from Ghotki, Sindh, has gone though. The mother of four is a victim of marital rape, gang rape, domestic violence — to label a few — and is waiting for the Supreme Court to hear her plea. The apex court’s recent decision to take a suo-motu notice of a similar victim from her area, Saiqa Bibi*, has made Saima hopeful of being served justice.

“I belong to an area where women are treated worse than animals and our voices are suppressed,” she said. She accused the police of doing nothing to arrest the suspects, claiming that the perpetrators were moving freely and have even made attempts to kill her and her family.

She registered a First Information Report (FIR) in Ubaro Ghotki police station on May 31 against her brother-in-law Mohsin Shah* and his associates Sardar Nasim*, Ghulam Ali* and Manu Khan*, for abducting and gang raping her, while she was drugged unconscious for five days.

Three reports were prepared after Civil Hospital Mirpur Mathelo conducted her medical exam under police supervision. The reports confirmed that Saima was gang-raped, induced with drugs and physically abused, which the scars on her body corroborated.

On June 7, she presented her case, along with her medical reports and FIR, to sessions Judge Ghotki through a lawyer Tariq Ahmed. On June 8, instead of pursuing the case in court, the judge granted bail to the accused men. Saima, in response to the injustice made an appeal to the Supreme Court on June 6 but her case is yet to be heard.

She was 18 when she married Asghar Sheraz*, a resident of Sadiqabad. The first six years went by peacefully, after which the abuse, the beatings and marital rape started. Later, Sheraz started bringing strangers to her home who raped her in his presence.

She kept hearing rumours that Sheraz had sexual relations with men since her marriage, “but I didn’t believe them until I caught him in the act in February this year,” following which were more beatings. Since her marriage, her brother-in-law, Shah, would try and have sexual relations with her. “He took photos of me while I was bathing and started blackmailing me, but I never gave in.”

On April 7, her husband divorced her when she was two months pregnant. She was thrown out of her house and her children were also taken away. Her brother took her to her native town, Ghotki.

On April 26, Saima was abducted by Shah from her parent’s home and was taken to Sadiqabad. She was locked in a room, drugged and gang raped by Shah and four of his accomplices for five days.

Later when she regained consciousness, she found herself stranded in Darul-Aman (protection house) in Multan. Her brother came to know about her whereabouts through a local newspaper on April 30 and came to her rescue.

“This incident took my father’s life because of the trauma,” she said. “All I want is for my children to be returned to me and my rapists to be brought to task.”
Source: The Express Tribune