Wed, 26 Jun 2019

Pakistani authorities say they have arrested three suspects in relation to the kidnapping and murder of a 10-year-old girl.

Khalid Awan, an Islamabad police spokesman, said on May 22 that a case was also registered against four police officers on suspicion of negligence.

The case has triggered street protests and national condemnation in Pakistan, where crimes against children are common and often go unpunished.

The mutilated body of the girl, Farishta, was found on the outskirts of the capital four days after she disappeared from her neighborhood of Shahzad Town on May 15.

Ghulam Nabi, the victim's father, alleges that the police did not immediately look for the girl and mistreated him when he tried to report her missing.

The girl's family is from the Pashtun community and originally from northwestern Pakistan.

Hundreds of people, mostly Pashtuns, have rallied in Islamabad to demand justice, and police are now investigating if the girl was raped and tortured.

Calls for action are being made on social media, under the hashtag #JusticeFor Farishta.

The rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari in January 2018 sparked national outrage and protests across Pakistan.

In October 2018, authorities executed a man convicted of killing Ansari and seven other children.

There were 3,832 reported cases of child abuse during 2018, according to the nongovernmental organization Sahil.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and Dawn

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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