Officials in Pakistan announced on April 30th that police arrested two Muslim clerics for allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy in a religious school east of the country’s Punjab province.
Pakistani police arrested two Muslim clerics for allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy in a religious school in eastern Punjab province, officials said Sunday. https://t.co/W46Fs92oDW
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 30, 2023
Khanewal district police spokesperson Chaudhry Imran reported that the sexual abuse occurred on April 29th, when the boy’s uncle arrived at his nephew’s school to visit him, only to find that a cleric was raping him in the school’s side room while another cleric waited for his turn.
The uncle filed a report against the two Muslim clerics, accusing them of sexually abusing his 10-year-old nephew in the seminary where he had been studying since last year.
Imran said police arrested the two clerics after an initial investigation. He also said the boy was sent to the local hospital, where he was treated for physical injuries and trauma.
Allegations and complaints of sexual abuse of children in Pakistani madrassas are reported quite frequently.https://t.co/KZboimSx7D
— The Pamphlet (@Pamphlet_in) May 1, 2023
The identities of the two suspects were not revealed. Police also did not allow reporters to seek comment regarding the two clerics, mentioning an ongoing investigation. However, authorities said the two suspects had not found legal representation yet.
Despite child sex abuse being rampant throughout Pakistan’s religious schools, complaints filed by parents and relatives of their victims rarely result in an arrest of the accused religious clerics.
The Associated Press conducted an investigation into the growing sexual abuse in Pakistan’s religious schools in May 2020, where they found dozens of police reports accusing Islamic clerics of rape, physical abuse, and sexual harassment while teaching in Islamic religious schools, or madrassas, across different parts of the Muslim-majority country.
Many of the students studying in madrassas are from low-income backgrounds. Their families, overcome by shame and fear of the stigma of being sexually abused that could follow a child into adulthood, are forced to drop the cases or coerced into “forgiving” the accused clerics.