Life Term to Two in Child Sex Abuse Case in Pakistan’s Kasur
Two people convicted in a massive scandal involving pedophilia in Pakistan were handed life sentences on Monday, officials said. The convictions come after a law criminalising child sexual abuse was passed in March in the country.
Pakistan was rocked by this huge child abuse and extortion scandal in August last year, dubbed by authorities as the largest in Pakistan’s history, allegedly involving hundreds of victims in its province of Punjab.
In Hussain Khanwala village in Kasur, southwest of Lahore, videos were made of at least 280 children being sexually abused by a gang who blackmailed their parents by threatening to leak the videos.
The police, who had conspicuously failed to act despite pleas from some parents, eventually made dozens of arrests after clashes between relatives and authorities brought the issue into spotlight through the media.
Six months after the scandal broke they managed to nab 17 of the accused.
In March, Pakistan’s Senate also passed a bill that criminalised sexual assault against minors, child pornography and trafficking for the first time – previously only acts of rape and sodomy were punishable by law.
Under the revised legislation, which is awaiting ratification by the Pakistani President, sexual assaults are punishable by up to seven years in prison. Likewise child pornography, which was previously not mentioned in the law, is punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of 700,000 rupees. The amendment to the penal code also criminalises child trafficking within Pakistan. Previously traffickers were only liable for punishment if they removed children from the country.