A man who raped a seven-year-old Pakistani Christian girl has been sentenced to 14 years in jail.

Fakhr-e-Alam a Mulsim was handed the sentence on May 2 for the attack on Saira Bibi.

Judge Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali also ordered therapist to pay a fine of 200,000 Pakistani rupees.

On April 29, 2014 Fakhr-e-Alam, then 17, sexually assaulted Saira.
Because of his age at the time he was spared the maximum sentence for rape which is 25 years.

The victim told the court that on April 20, she went to a shop when Fakhr forcefully took her to a nearby compound and sexually assaulted her.

When Saira’s brothers Shahbaz Masih and Emmanuel Masih heard their sister had been taken by Fakhr they rushed towards the compound, but by the time they arrived Fakhr had fled.

After the incident, Saira’s family was pressurised by local landlords and influential people not to pursue criminal proceedings against Fakhr-e-Alam.

But as a result of the media coverage of the case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of the case and directed the Punjab police to submit a report on this case.

Saira’s family still face hard times, including violent threats, social stigma and the loss of their home and jobs. The family fled their village after her case attracted local antagonism and now reportedly live on the roadside in the city of Sialkot.