Is Pakistan covering up Christian nurse’s ‘rape case’?

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Magdalene Ashraf
Magdalene Ashraf

Magdalene Ashraf
Magdalene Ashraf

A huge controversy has broken out in Pakistan over the case of Magdalene Ashraf, a 23-year-old third-year Christian student nurse at the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi, who was allegedly raped by a doctor on July 15, 2010.

Magdalene is the daughter of Ashraf Masih, a poor Christian, who is said to have ‘dreamed of a good future’ for his daughter after her graduation, but then all came crashing down after the alleged rape.

Instead of a rape charge, a case of simple assault was made by the police against Dr. Abdul Jabbar Memon, which falls under section 324 of the country’s Penal Code.

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Pakistan Christians: More reports

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A ‘renowned Pakistani hospital’ run by the state, had allegedly declared, in its medical examination report, that a semen specimen sent to them was ‘not that’ of the alleged rapist of the virgin Christian trainee nurse, thus depriving her of ‘justice in this case,’ ANS reported.

The informant then alleged, that staff there conspired together and allegedly declared that the specimen sent to them was not that of the main accused doctor, nor of any of his ‘accomplices’ whom it was claimed had raped the Christian nurse and thus deprived this ‘hapless and impoverished Christian trainee nurse of justice.’

According to our informant, the Christian trainee nurse was allegedly seduced and taken to the doctors’ mess led by a Muslim nurse and then subjected to ‘immense physical, mental and sexual assault’ by the doctor and two other Muslim men.

According to reports obtained later that night, she was found lying on ground ‘nearly dead’ and ‘drenched in blood’ and taken to the hospital for treatment for her critical condition.

A source said that the police were reluctant to register a case against this influential Muslim physician but, later on, under media pressure, registered a case, but ‘refrained from inserting the rape section of Pakistani Penal Code.’

Rape in Pakistan is a non-bailable offense, but our source claimed that the police were ‘lenient’ and ‘favoring the Muslim doctor to such an extent that they kept him in custody until July 31st 2010.’

Our informant added, “Police also didn’t arrest the other two men who were the alleged accomplices of the alleged ,main culprit.”

The family of Magdalene Ashraf have since appealed to the Chief Minister of Sindh, the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan, and the Chief Justice of the Apex Court of Pakistan to ensure a ‘provision of justice’ to their daughter who “is still in shock and unable to recover from this experience.”

Family sources told ANS that they were compelled to live with this ‘stigma’ which they said could only be ‘wiped out’ if the ‘rapists’ of their daughter “were brought to justice.”

Through another source, ANS has established that, after this ‘atrocity and injustice’, the family of Magdalene Ashraf has moved from Karachi to their native village of Clarkabad, near to Lahore in Punjab province, to ‘avert any more untoward incidents.’

On Facebook, a law student wrote, “There are hundreds of rape cases of Christian nurses by Muslim doctors which go unreported in Pakistan when the rapists are from influential Muslim families, which forces Christian nurses to keep silent to save their families, but Magdalene Ashraf took her voice up and faced serious consequences.

“It is our religious and moral duty to support our sister in Christ. It is time to gather and fight for justice.”

Sohail Johnson, Chief Coordinator of Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP) has condemned the alleged rape of the Christian nursing student by the Muslim doctor.

He told journalists at a press conference shortly after the alleged incident, “We appeal to all human rights organizations and the Pakistan Nursing Council Federation to provide moral support to Magdalene Ashraf and protest against this cruel incident.”

Johnson continued by saying, “We would urge the management of the Agha Khan Hospital to maintain its reputation and respect of this Godly profession by providing justice…” ANS

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