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Friday, 31 August 2012

Sexual abuse of Christian boys and girls in Essa Nagri

Map of Karachi showing Essa Nagri

While researching the background of attacks, extortion and intimidation in the Christian slum of Essa Nagri that led to the current events and violence the BPCA found an article from January describing the situation that the Christians of Essa Nagri and other Christian areas of Karachi face.  Because of their minority status, they are especially vulnerable to abuse of various kinds.  Activists of rival political parties extort money from them, they are caught in the middle of vicious political battles for land, kidnap and forcible conversion of both young and adults is common, and even Members of State Assemblies face death threats and have nowhere to turn.  But a further element is extortion by sexual abuse of children.  As dusk falls, all children are whisked away out of sight, with good reason.  For at least a year, children are being abducted and then abused at a nearby building known as the Meekasa Apartments.

A resident of Essa Nagri, Peter Bhatti, reports that the children are filmed being abused, and then the families extorted for money.  If they don't pay, the videos will be circulated.  One woman, Shakila Anjum, had her two teenage sons abducted and abused in such a manner.  She got calls warning her not to tell the police.  The families have no choice but to raise the money, which is difficult for the already impoverished residents.  Thus the Christian community is deliberately kept in enforced poverty by abuse, extortion and murder by the extremists / criminals (is there much of a difference in Pakistan - as the saying goes, the bigger the beard, the bigger the crook).  And the police and society do nothing or aid it.  Silence is complicity!


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