Claims that minor domestic worker died after torture are false
Social media posts falsely claim that a minor domestic worker who was subjected to physical abuse by a judge’s wife in Islamabad has died of her injuries
Claim: A minor domestic worker who was allegedly tortured by a judge’s wife in Islamabad has died of her injuries.
Fact: The girl is alive and recovering in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Lahore General Hospital, where she was shifted to on 26 July 2023 from Sargodha DHQ hospital. She also gave an interview from Lahore General Hospital on 28 July 2023, which shows she is in serious condition, but she is alive.
On 25 July 2023, news broke that Rizwana, a 14-year-old domestic worker, was found badly injured at the house of a Judge in Islamabad. According to the FIR lodged by her father, Manga Khan, the girl had been working at the judge’s house for two months and was subjected to physical abuse by the judge’s wife. He said he visited his daughter two days ago and found her locked in a room with torture marks on her body. He said, “Her ribs were also found broken, and injuries were found on her back. Marks of strangulation were also found around her neck.”
The case sparked outrage on social media, with people calling for an end to child labour and violence against minors. The hashtag #JusticeForRizwana trended on Twitter and Facebook.
On 26 July 2023, the girl was shifted to Lahore General Hospital from Sargodha DHQ Hospital after her condition worsened. The Punjab government announced that it would bear all the expenses of her treatment and provide legal assistance to her family.
On 27 July 2023, writer Anwar Maqsood, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) political activist Maulana Sami Ullah and other Twitter and Facebook users claimed that the girl had succumbed to her injuries and passed away. They expressed their grief and anger over her alleged death and blamed the authorities for failing to protect her.
Fact or Fiction?
We searched for the keywords “domestic worker”, “judge”, and “torture case” and found several sources with information about the case. Some of them reported that JUI political leaders had visited the victim’s parents to express their solidarity and offer their condolences. We verified other alleged interviews of the victim’s parents by comparing them to photos from this official meeting.
On 27 July 2023, writer Ikramullah Naseem posted a video on his Twitter account (@realikramnasim) of an interview with the girl at Lahore General Hospital. The video shows her lying on a hospital bed with bandages on her head and neck. She nods when a nurse asks her if she is okay. A woman, identified by Soch Fact Check as her mother, sits next to her.
On 28 July 2023, youth political activist Shehr Bano posted a video on her Twitter account (@Shehrbano) of an interview with the victim’s mother, who also appears in the photos from the official meeting with JUI leaders and the video posted by Nasim from Lahore General Hospital. They ask for prayers for the girl’s recovery.
Soch Fact Check also reached out to ARY News journalist Babar Malik, who has reported on the incident. Malik confirmed that she is alive, “Social media is totally unregulated, this kind of fake news is harmful and should be countered immediately.”
The claim of Rizwana’s death was widely shared on Twitter and Facebook by various users.
A tweet by writer and satirist Anwar Maqsood (@_AnwarMaqsood01) received 121,900 views, 3,400 retweets, and 7,169 likes. A tweet by JUI-F political activist Maulana Sami Ullah (@MSamiUllah_786) received 87,700 views, 853 retweets, 47 quotes, and 1,451 likes. A tweet by journalist Azmat Ullah Khan (@AzmatUllahKhan) received 167,800 views, 3,100 retweets, 127 quotes, and 3,728 likes.
Twitter and Facebook posts making the claim received more than 378,000 views, 13,121 likes and 8,299 shares in total.
Conclusion: The claim that a minor domestic worker who was allegedly physically abused by a judge’s wife in Islamabad has died of her injuries is false. She is alive and recovering in the ICU of Lahore General Hospital, where she was shifted to on 26 July 2023.
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