Christian girl, 8, stripped and beaten to punish uncle for dating Muslim

An eight-year old Christian girl has been beaten and striped naked in order to punish her uncle.

Iftikhar Masih, the girl's uncle who is also a Christian, broke Pakistani taboo by having a Muslim girlfriend. A law group in Pakistan is prosecuting the girlfriend's Muslim family who allegedly beat the eight-year-old in retaliation for the inter-religious relationship.

The Islamic family reportedly kidnapped the girl on her way home from school and stripped and beat her.

The case against this girl comes as violence against Christians grows.Reuters

When the girl's family did not receive any help from village elders they sought support from the police. However the Muslim family had already filed a complaint with a police against the whole Christian family for shaming Masih's Muslim girlfriend.

As a result the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said the affiliated Organisation for Legal Aid in Pakistan is preparing the charges.

"If our petition is accepted, the charges will be filed under section 354-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, which severely punishes assaults and the use of criminal force against a woman resulting in stripping her and exposing her to public view. We request your prayers for justice for Parwasha and her family," wrote the ACLJ senior litigation counsel Shaheryar Gill.

Violence against Christian women and girls is on the rise in Pakistan and there are frequent reports of beatings and killings.

This case follows reports from the British Pakistani Christian association (BPCA) that a 13-year-old Christian girl had been abducted, raped and forced in to an Islamic marriage.

"Sadly these cases go to Shariah Courts where Christian lawyers are not allowed to defend victims and Muslim lawyers notoriously provide shallow prosecution services meaning Sana is more than likely going to remain in an abusive relationship for the rest of her life," said Wilson Chowdhry, chair of the BPCA.

"The majority of the girls abducted in this way are around 12 years of age, so laws regarding the legal age of consensual marriage could save a large proportion of victims; however, failures by the government to enforce these laws suggests that passion for justice is non-existential," he added.