I was sold every few months, recounts Pakistani woman

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Recounting a harrowing tale of rape, torture and exploitation, a Pakistani woman who escaped after a year in captivity says she was sold to someone new every few months since being abducted by her husband’s friend.

“Every few months I was sold off to someone new and eventually I even began to forget where I was,” said the 45-year-old woman, who was kidnapped from Karachi and finally managed to escape in Bhowana tehsil in Punjab province.

She told the police that she had been passed off from one man to another and had been raped frequently over the year, Express Tribune reported Wednesday.

The woman said that one of her husbands friends, Saad, visited them frequently.

One day he came to our house in my husbands absence and brought some sweets. I ate the sweets and fainted and he abducted me, she was quoted as saying.

She told the police that she was taken Chiniot city in Punjab province, where she was forced to change her name.

Saad made me sign a nikahnama and forced me to change my name. He kept me for two months and then sold me for Rs.40,000 to his brother, she said.

Saad’s brother, Zahoor, too made her sign a marriage certificate.

He made me work around the house and tied me up in chains for three months. He would assault me every night, said Arifa with tears in her eyes.

Three months later, Zahoor sold her to his nephew Ahmed, who was just 20 years old. He kept her for two months.

He (Ahmed) used to burn my body with hot iron and beat me but there was no one around for miles so I couldnt scream for help, she said.

The victim tried to escape several times, but failed.

They kept moving me from one place to another. Every few months I was sold off to someone new and eventually I even began to forget where I was, she said, adding that Ahmed sold her two months later to two men for Rs.80,000.

On Monday, she managed to escape through a window at 5.30 a.m. and ran for help.

I stopped at the first house I could find and implored for help, she said.

Mazhar Jappa, who opened the door to the victim, said: We found her begging for help outside the door and when I heard the story I told the police.

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