“Christians appear weak and can be easily persecuted.” That’s the reaction of the president of the Bangladesh Christian Association to reports of two Catholics being sexually assaulted in recent days – one a 15-year-old girl, the other a mother of three.
The assaults are reported by Asia News to have taken place on 7 and 9 November in Mymensingh, in the north, and Rajshahi, in the west.
The first – of the mother of three – is reported to have been carried out by two Muslim men dressed as policemen, who gagged and bound the woman, before taking it in turns to rape her. One suspect, named Efran, was reportedly tracked down by members of the Christian community and handed over to police.
The second assault – of the 15-year-old – is alleged to have been carried out by her school principal, Abdur Satar. The girl’s father told Asia News the girl had gone to the principal for help with her homework when he “touched her private parts and wanted to rape her, but luckily my daughter managed to escape”.
He added that the principal “is an influential person in the community, so the police did not even want to register the complaint. Then some journalists and local leaders put pressure on the agents, until they decided to register the case”.
Nikhil Khaka, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association in the north-central district of Sirajganj, called for “an exemplary punishment” for the principal.
“We know that he has abused many girls in the past, but none have dared to report,” he said. “Christians appear weak and can be easily persecuted.”