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Justice Affirmed: Appellate Court Upholds Conviction of Muslim Man Who Raped a Little Christian Girl in Pakistan After ACLJ Affiliate Presented Oral Argument


Shaheryar Gill

June 6, 2023

3 min read

Persecuted Church



Four years ago, we told you about a case we won in Pakistan when a trial court sentenced a Muslim man to 25 years in prison for raping a three-year-old Christian girl. The man appealed the conviction. Four years later, we have secured a victory at the appellate court, ensuring the perpetrator will not walk free to harm any other little girls.

The case began in 2017 when our affiliate in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), was informed that a little girl, SS, had been sexually assaulted. We dispatched a team to investigate the assault and meet with the girl’s family.

The girl’s mother, Catherine, informed us that she was a single mother of three who worked as a janitor at a local hospital. She told us that the night before the rape, her oldest son’s friend, Muhammad Abbas, a 25-year-old man, asked if he could spend the night at their house since it was too late to get a ride back to his village. Catherine agreed and allowed Abbas to sleep in the living room. The next morning, Catherine, her oldest son, and Abbas all went to work, leaving Daud (Catherine’s 11-year-old son) and SS at home.

When Catherine came home later that day, she found Daud and SS terrified. Three-year-old SS was crying and covered with blood. Catherine rushed her to the hospital and was told by doctors that SS had been raped.

Our team in Pakistan took up the case and represented the child at the trial court. In June 2018, after listening to the testimonies and reviewing the medical and forensics reports, the trial court sentenced Abbas to 25 years imprisonment. Abbas appealed.

Last year, the High Court scheduled a hearing for the arguments on appeal. We began preparing for the oral argument. We knew, however, that the court might not actually hear the argument for months. Such hearings are delayed for a variety of reasons, including because of the number of cases scheduled to be heard each day and also because such hearings are often rescheduled by the attorneys involved.

After several rescheduled hearings, last week the High Court finally heard the arguments and upheld Abbas’ conviction.

Last year, after the High Court began scheduling the hearings, I went to Pakistan and met with SS and her father. Her mother had passed away during the recent COVID pandemic. SS and her brothers now live with their father. SS visits a Christian neighbor and learns the Word of God. She sang worship songs for me and recited the Lord’s Prayer. Her father’s desire is that she gets an education and that one day she will get married and have a normal life.

We are thankful to God that justice has been served, and we pray that God will protect SS and vulnerable children like her.

We secure justice for Christians worldwide who need our help. Because of your generous support, we continue to advocate for Christians like SS in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

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