Angry Pakistanis are demanding justice for a five-year-old girl who was reportedly kidnapped, raped and set ablaze in the city of Karachi.
According to local media, the body of the girl, named as Marwah, was recovered from a garbage heap on 6 September two days after she was reported missing.
An autopsy report seen by local media confirmed she had been sexually assaulted, struck in the head and set alight, and at least one person has been arrested.
It follows the 2018 death of seven-year-old girl Zainab Ansari, whose raped body was also found among garbage near the city of Lahore, sparking waves of protests and accusations of negligence by Pakistani authorities.
According to non-profit child protection organisation Sahil, Pakistan sees nearly 10 cases of child abuse reported each day, most of them affecting girls.
Marwah’s death sparked an outpouring of rage and grief on social media, with many posts using the #JusticeForMarwah hashtag.
“When will this stop?” actress Armeena Khan asked in a Twitter post.
Pakistani international cricketer Shan Masood said it was “high time” to place “the utmost importance” on fighting the scourge of child abuse.
“We cannot lose our youth to such disgusting and inhuman acts. Keeping quiet is contributing to the issue. We must stand up to these cowards and take action,” he said on Twitter.
High time we give this matter the utmost importance. We cannot lose our youth to such disgusting and inhuman acts. Keeping quiet is contributing to the issue. We must stand up to these cowards and take action. My heart goes out to you and your family Marwah. #JusticeForMarwah pic.twitter.com/PrAQZsMTAR— Shan Masood (@shani_official) September 7, 2020
Footage uploaded to social media also appears to show a group of people protesting in city streets over the incident.
Earlier this year, Pakistan’s parliament passed a law against child abuse which requires police to register a case within two hours of a child’s parents reporting them missing.