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Domestic worker torture case: 11-year-old records statement before civil judge

Kinza, an 11-year-old domestic worker in Rawalpindi who had suffered torture allegedly at the hands of her employers, recorded her statement in front of a civil judge at the Civil Judicial Complex on Monday.

The girl's case surfaced on Saturday through a series of videos shared on Twitter in which she could be seen talking about her employers' alleged mistreatment of her.

On Sunday, a medical examination confirmed that the bruises and wounds found on the 11-year-old's body were consistent with her account of the torture. The examination report confirmed that there is evidence of torture carried out 15-20 days ago using "knife, belts and persons standing on her straight with full weight multiple times".

A case was registered at the Airport police station against Kinza's employers on the complaint of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB). According to the police, the couple will be tried under the Child Protection Act.

Toady, members of the CPWB took Kinza to the judicial complex under security provided by police, who barred media representatives from entering the courtroom where Civil Judge Sumaira Alamgir recorded the minor's statement.

Once her statement was recorded, police took Kinza out of the court through a back door to keep the media from interacting with her.

Dr Mohsin Riaz, husband of Major Ammara Riaz, and one of the accused in the case, also presented himself before an additional and sessions judge to acquire bail in the case. The court granted him interim bail against Rs50,000 until October 29.

Notices were also sent to the police and the petitioner — the CPWB — to appear in court on Oct 29, the date of the next hearing.

Kinza's case, a grim reminder of the infamous Tayyaba torture case of 2016, came to light through a series of videos shared on Twitter in which the child narrated her ordeal.

She was hired as a domestic worker in Rawalpindi's Chaklala area by Major Ammara Riaz and her husband Dr Mohsin Riaz, where she was allegedly tortured by her employers for over a year.

The 11-year-old had managed to escape the house of her employers, who she accused of starving her and torturing her with wires, belts and ropes for over a year. She also claimed that she was kicked and stomped on while she slept.

When asked by the videographer to describe how she has been mistreated, she explained that she was not fed properly by the family she lived with, and when she stole food out of hunger, she was administered inhumane beatings.

In the video, Kinza showed injuries that she had sustained, including her bloodshot and bruised eyes as well as multiple wound marks on her arms, neck and head.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari took notice of the case on Saturday and said the ministry was "keeping a close eye [on the matter] to ensure justice for the little girl".

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