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International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941
Washington, DC 20006-1846
www.www.persecution.org
Email: [email protected]

For Immediate Release
10 YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN GIRL FINDS
JUSTICE IN PAKISTAN’S ISLAMIC COURT

– COURT CONVICTS MUSLIM OF RAPE OF CHRISTIAN GIRL –

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.www.persecution.org.
(March 31, 2004) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC)
www.www.persecution.org, has just become aware that Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court has upheld the judgment of 15 years imprisonment against a Muslim man convicted of raping a 10-year-old Christian girl. This case is a victory for the rights of Christians and women in Pakistan.
As previously reported by ICC, on March 31, 2003, Natasha Emmanuel was raped by Ghazanfar Mehmood, a Muslim neighbor. Ghanzanfar Mehmood appealed the first verdict of 15 years, which was handed down on November 7, 2003. However, on March 24, 2004, the Federal Shariat Court rejected the appeal for forgiveness and upheld the previous punishment of 15 years imprisonment.

In the Islamic country of Pakistan, Christian women are treated as third-class citizens. The rape of Christian females often goes unreported because of the stigma attached to being a victim of rape, as well as the difficulty in finding justice for Christians in Islamic courts. In light of this, the verdict against Mehmood is highly significant and represents a victory for the rights of Christians, as well as for women.
The victory is moderated by the fact that typically a conviction for “rape by force” (Zina Biljabr) results in 25 years imprisonment or the death sentence. The lighter sentence is probably due to the fact that Natasha is a Christian and the perpetrator has links with conservative and extremist Islamic organizations.

ICC applauds the Pakistani court system for upholding the rights of all its citizens.

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US Church regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.