A 10-year-old maid employed by a Pakistani judge showed multiple signs of torture, a hospital chief said on Tuesday after the Supreme Court ordered a probe into the case.
The incident has brought to light rampant child labour in Pakistan. After social media images allegedly showing injuries on the girl’s face and hands went viral, the top court intervened last week and ordered a full investigation. The court also asked the police to find the minor.
Her father took her out of a women’s shelter amid reports that he had forgiven the judge and his wife and described his daughter’s story as untrue.
She was found on Sunday in the suburbs of Islamabad and taken for a medical examination.
“She shows signs of torture,” Javed Akram, head of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital, said. “Our medical board has observed multiple injuries, burns, blunt injuries and bruises on the child’s face.”
“She has burn marks on her back and on the left hand. She also has a blunt wound on her face. All her wounds are healing,” he added.
Another doctor said that the girl, employed by a district judge in Islamabad, had changed her statement several times.
Media reports said she initially claimed she fell down the stairs and burnt her hands by accident, later telling the police she was beaten and had her hands burned on a stove by the judge’s wife.
Current figures on the scale of child labour in Pakistan are not available. According to Human Rights Watch, about 13% of Pakistani children aged 10-14 are working.