Home Latest News Mufti Aziz Indicted in Sexual Assault Case

Mufti Aziz Indicted in Sexual Assault Case

by Newsweek Pakistan

Photo courtesy Punjab Police

The former madrassa teacher’s sons have also been charged with criminal intimidation

A sessions court in Lahore on Monday indicted Mufti Azizur Rehman, a former leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and teacher at the Jamia Manzoorul Islamia, and his five sons in a case of sexually assaulting one of his students.

The cleric and his sons, Ataur Rehman, Attiqur Rehman, Latifur Rehman, Altafur Rehman and Wasiur Rehman, pled not guilty and said they would contest the charges. Additional District and Sessions Judge Rana Rashid Ali then directed police to present prosecution witnesses on the next date of hearing, Oct. 18. Rehman’s sons have all been granted bail, but he remains behind bars following a judicial magistrate denying his bail plea. His appeal against the ruling is still pending.

In June, police in Lahore registered a first information report against Rehman under Sections 377 (unnatural offenses) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code. His sons are accused of threatening the victim to stay silent and have been charged under Section 506.

In the FIR, the victim said he had secured admission in the Jamia Manzoorul Islamia in 2013 to continue his education. He said that Rehman had accused him and another student of cheating during exams, banning them from sitting exams at the Wafaqul Madaris for three years. The victim, whose identity is being kept anonymous, said he had urged Rehman to reconsider the punishment and been told that if he “made [Rehman] happy” his penalty would be declared void. He said he had believed he had no choice but to submit to the sexual assault to continue his studies, adding that Rehman had assaulted him every Friday for three years and threatened blackmail if he tried to resist.

The victim noted that he had initially complained to the madrassa’s administration, but had been told that the “pious” Rehman would not do this. He said he had been accused of issuing false statements and had been forced to leak a video of the sexual assault—which went viral on social media—to prove his allegations. Following Rehman’s removal from the madrassa over the video, said the victim, he had been threatened by the mufti and his sons with death.

The cleric initially denied any role in the leaked video, claiming it was part of a “conspiracy”; he had been drugged; and was not a willing participant. He even claimed that the video showed the victim was not resisting and implied that it was he, and not the student, who was the victim. Following his arrest, police claimed he had confessed to the crime during interrogation; his decision to contest the charges suggests he has now recanted that confession.

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