Anna's parents dreamed of giving her a better future than theirs by enrolling her in this school.
Anna Chand is a little girl from a Christian family in Pakistan. On July 24, she was expelled from her school and returned home alone, with her clothes stained with blood. Taken to the hospital, the doctors examined her. The little girl suffers from a tear of the perineum, and a rupture of the hymen. The principal's husband is presumed guilty of raping the girl.
Like a majority of Christians in this country, her parents have very poor resources: her mother, Roma, is unemployed, her father, Masih, is a sweeper in a factory. But they want their daughter to have a good education.
So not to wait another year without her going to school, Masih and Roma decide to send her to a school near their home, in Raiwind. According to British Pakistani Christian Association, this school would be a kind of madrassa, Koranic school, and would be financed by UNICEF.
Anna's mother explains this choice:
“I have always dreamed that Anna would receive an education so that she could escape the poverty that our family faces. Anna cannot go to public school until she is 4 years old. I wanted Anna to get a head start with education at this free school and was hoping to move Anna to a suitable school starting next year. "
But on July 24, Anna walks home before the end of class, her clothes covered in blood. She complains of stomach aches. The mother welcomes the little girl, gives her some medicine, and thinks that the bloodstains may be linked to a ritual sacrifice performed in the school.
Anna's pains persist. When her father comes home, Anna explains to him that Muhammed Saleem, the headmistress's husband, beat her.
Roma rushes to her sister's house because her nephew is educated in the same school as Anna. He explains that the principal's husband sent all the children upstairs to read and was left alone with Anna.
The parents decide to take their daughter to the hospital. In a first hospital, doctors confirm the rape, but refuse to treat her until the police deal with the case. In a second hospital, Anna will be able to be examined and benefit from a first treatment.
The Punjab's human rights minister, Mr. Ijaz Alam Augustin, has reportedly confirmed the girl's rape. He adds that the parents are threatened with blasphemy charges.
According to Juliet Chowdhry of the British Asian Christian Association, "Christian girls are seen as easy targets for pedophiles and rapists because they come from poor and powerless families and can quickly be accused of blasphemy to thwart justice."
Last June, another Christian girl was raped by her teacher in her school, who was then trying to cover up the case.
Article originally published in August 2021.
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