abducted and gang raped by 16 Muslim men last month for refusing to renounce her faith in Christ, the latest in a series of published sexual assaults against Christian women and girls.
The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), an advocacy group defending religious minorities, told local media the rape of Sara Tabasum was a "horrific, brutal, and shameful act which should be condemned at all levels as it is the insult of humanity and all communities."
APMA Director Shahbaz Bhatti criticized the "reluctance" of authorities to arrest those responsible, apparently because of fears of Islamic retaliation. Officials have not yet commented. The alleged rape offence occurred at the city of Rawlpindi near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, news reports said.
Muslim men allegedly abducted and raped Sara for over two weeks because she allegedly refused to give up her faith in Christ. In addition there was anger within the local Muslim community that Tabasum's parents had complained about a Muslim-run brothel in the apartment complex they shared, APMA said.
The Muslim neighbors, identified as Perveen Bibi, a Muslim woman and her husband Babar running the brothel were eventually forced by the owner of the apartment complex to leave their house.
Sara's ordeal began September 5 when her former neighbors and two other men "put a piece of cloth soaked in some intoxicant on her mouth, after which she fainted," APMA claimed. When she regained consciousness the girl reportedly found herself in Bibi's house, where three men, including Babar Bibi, allegedly raped her.
The girl was apparently told that by Perveen Bibi that she could be "saved" if she embraced Islam and married one of Perveen's Muslim brothers. "On refusing, Sara was beaten badly during captivity and shifted to another house ... where five persons raped her. She was repeatedly asked by Perveen and other men to embrace Islam and recite (the) Islamic creed to save herself from the misery," APMA told media.
THREATENED WITH DEATH
She was also told they had (had) killed her brother Suleman while her mother embraced Islam so "it would be better for her to become (a) Muslim now, otherwise she could be killed or made (a) 'prostitute,'" APMA reportedly said.
After Sara refused again, she was allegedly taken to another house, where she was reportedly assaulted by a further seven people. On September 20 she managed to escape by jumping of a vehicle which transported her to be sold to another Muslim gang, APMA reported.
Her mother, who had been searching for Sara for weeks, asked for "prayers" and reportedly said she "knocks (on) every door to get justice for my beloved daughter."
APMA investigators said Sara was s in a "pathetic and appalling state" and stressed her brother "was shocked to see her in this condition." Although he arranged for primary medical aid she has remained in shock while constantly crying, news reports said. Sara's case has underscored concern within the human rights community about the usage of rape as a weapon against Christian girls and women.
News of Sara's rape case came just days after 22-year old Pakistani charged three men with raping her earlier September month and threatening to kill her if she did not convert from Christianity to Islam.
The victim, 22-year old Ribqa Masih, reportedly testified last week at a court hearing about her ordeal, BosNewsLife monitored. (With Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife Research and reports from Pakistan).
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