Karachi

Burnt, beaten and raped: Thatta female resident tells her ordeal

KARACHI: Emmi, a 30 year-old woman from Thatta, held a press conference yesterday in Karachi and narrated her tragic account of being tortured and forced into prostitution.

Minorities in Pakistan have mostly been subjected to forced conversions, torture and sexual harassment. Unfortunately for 30 year-old Emmi, she had to experience all three. At a press conference held yesterday in Karachi, the beleaguered victim of assault and rape named her criminals and blamed police as well for sexually harassing her.

With the help of a non-government body, Emmi is seeking to bring to justice those who have harmed her. A resident of Thatta, Emmi revealed how all of her troubles began when she grew friendly with a man over the phone, in 2008. She identified the man as Shahbaz, a resident of Mirpur Sakro, who ultimately convinced her to meet him outside her house. When she assented and met him, the man helped to kidnap her with another man named Ramzan.

“They took me to an unknown place where I was confined in a dark room for 20 days, beaten and raped. Then I was sold and taken to Nawabshah,” she said.

After being sold in Nawabshah, Emmi was forced to sign papers which were proof that she had converted from Hinduism to Islam. Her fake marriage with Javed Khaskheli  was arranged, who forced her into prostitution. She had tried to escape imprisonment and had been punished accordingly, by being burnt.

“I was burnt and initially admitted to a hospital in Nawabshah and later to the Combined Military Hospital in Hyderabad.

I was told that I should identify myself as the wife of Javed,” she revealed.

Emmi revealed that she had to suffer six years in confinement in Hyderabad, after which she finally managed to escape to Thatta. Upon returning home, another unfortunate news awaited her; Emmi found out that her father had died following her kidnapping.

Emmi also stated that when she first when to the police, an official ill-treated her and sexually harassed her as well.

“I have been exploited for eight years and demand justice,” she said as tears rolled down her face.

Advocate Zia Awan also spoke on the occasion and stated how most of the cases never made it to the news in the first place.

“This case is just the tip of the iceberg. Most cases go unreported. In cases that reach us, often the victims are reluctant to talk to the media. There is a dire need to make the police and the justice system efficient,” he said.

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