Pakistan jails 2 for life over child sex abuse scandal

The two were also slapped a fine of 300,000 rupees ($2,860) each by an anti terrorism court of Lahore.

Lahore, Pakistan: Two people convicted in a massive Pakistan paedophilia scandal were handed life sentences Monday, officials said, after a law passed in March criminalised child sexual abuse in the country for the first time.

Pakistan was rocked by the 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 Punjab province.

"Two convicts in the Kasur child abuse case have been handed life imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 rupees ($2,860) each by an anti terrorism court of Lahore," Sheikh Saeed Ahmed, the chief prosecutor of Punjab told AFP.

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 the media spotlight.

Six months after the scandal broke they confirmed 17 of the accused remained in prison awaiting trial and three more were out on bail.

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 the acts of rape and sodomy were punishable by law.

Under the revised legislation, which is awaiting ratification by the 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.

( Source : AFP )
Next Story