Protesters demand swift arrest of rapists.
Rights campaigners staged protest rallies across Pakistan on Sunday to protest against the rape of a 5-year-old girl in Lahore whose condition is now relatively stable.
Police still have no clue about who carried out the attack despite detaining several suspects, and releasing most of them after questioning, a law enforcement official said.
Police said the child was found outside a Lahore hospital at around 8 p.m. on Friday, a day after she went missing from a low-income neighborhood in the city.
Senior police officer Zulfiqar Hameed said investigators had questioned several suspects but had yet to arrest anyone: “We are investigating and we hope steady progress [is being made], but no one has yet been identified nor anyone formally arrested.”
Earlier, doctors said the child was raped several times.
“Her condition is relatively stable, but she is still in the intensive-care unit,” said Dr. Farzand Ali, medical superintendent at Services Hospital.
Rights campaigners and workers from NGOs on Saturday and Sunday staged protest rallies across Pakistan and demanded the arrest of the culprits. Widespread outrage dominated social media while private TV channels prominently broadcast reports on the girl and her ordeal.
Rape is notoriously difficult to prosecute in Pakistan.
In April 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of five men sentenced to death in Pakistan’s most famous rape case, that of Mukhtar Mai.
Mai was gang-raped in 2002 on the orders of a village council as punishment, after her brother, who was just 12 at the time, was accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan. A local court had sentenced six men to death, but a higher court acquitted five of them in March 2005 and commuted the sentence for the main accused to life imprisonment.
In neighboring India on Friday, a judge sentenced to death four men convicted of the fatal gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus last December, fulfilling the last wish of the 23-year-old victim who died of her injuries.