The rape followed by the assassination of a Christian child which mobilizes the Pakistani police

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On March 12, the acid-corrupted body of Adan Masih was found on a playground in Pakistan. The eight-year-old Christian child was sexually abused before he was murdered as he went out to buy sweets.

It was three days after Adan's disappearance that the police found his body marred by vitriol at a playground near Lahore, the capital of Punjab. The young boy had left his home on March 9, believing he was safe, to look for sweets in a shop on his street. A journey supposed to last one minute.

Not seeing him return, his brother Danish went to the trader who told him he had not seen his younger brother. After looking for Adan in the local streets and businesses for an hour, the eldest returned to look after his grandfather and two other siblings, thinking the little boy was having fun with his friends, and waited for their parents to return. When they returned from the factory at 18 p.m., the family panicked and started looking for the child everywhere, helped by the neighbours.

"My heart sank when Danish told me his brother was missing. I didn't know what to do, I rushed into the streets and asked neighbors and shopkeepers if they knew where Adan might be, but nobody gave me the slightest clue", laments Sonia, the mother of the family.

Faced with the ignorance of the police for the first two days, she took refuge in faith:

"I kept praying and asking pastors to pray for my child's safety."

A mobilization of the police neither usual nor exceptional

The following Sunday, the police informed the parents that children had discovered Adan's body on a playground. According to the first elements of the investigation, the child was sodomized, then killed before the kidnappers do not burn his body with vitriol. The police arrested one of the suspects, of Muslim faith, the second is on the run and is mobilizing the police to man across the country.

Father George is wracked with guilt and told the British Asian Christian Association (BACA), a Christian NGO that works with persecuted minorities in Pakistan:

"Cruel men destroyed his beautiful face, I feel a deep sense of despair, I let my son down. I pray for God's forgiveness and ask him to take care of my son for me."

Authorities returned Adan's body to his parents within hours of his discovery, and he was buried the same evening. BACA appealed for donations to pay for a lawyer, as the family could not afford one.

If the authorities reacted diligently in this case as in others of this kind, it is not a constant on the occasion of sexual crimes committed by Muslims against Christians or members of other minorities.

Last December, the father of 15-year-old Sitah Arif, raped, forcibly married and coerced into Islam, could only to note bitterly the refusal of the police to register his complaint.

In 2016, investigators first concluded that it was a natural death after the discovery of the body of a Christian teenager, violated, in a tree before carrying out more serious investigations in the face of protests from churches and BACA. Sometimes the police ask Christian families to pay in exchange for an investigation.

Jean Sarpedon

Image credit: British Asian Christian Association

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