Rapist doctor arrested in Brazil, what would Pakistan do?

Published: August 22, 2014

What’s even more disturbing is that this doctor was a well-known practitioner in his city and in his native country and he had also treated many Brazilian celebrities. He was well off, had a wife and kids and was living a supposedly happy life. PHOTO: AFP

What’s even more disturbing is that this doctor was a well-known practitioner in his city and in his native country and he had also treated many Brazilian celebrities. He was well off, had a wife and kids and was living a supposedly happy life. PHOTO: AFP He was well off, had a wife and kids and was living a supposed happy life. Yet he reduced himself to this.

I recently came across an utterly horrendous news story. In Paraguay, a 70-year-old doctor was sentenced for raping and sexually abusing 39 of his female patients who came to his fertility clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Roger Abdelmassih has been sentenced to 278 years in prison.

What is even more disturbing is that this doctor was a well-known practitioner in his city and had also treated many Brazilian celebrities. He was well off, had a wife and kids, and was living a supposedly happy life. Yet he reduced himself to this.

Though I was glad that he finally got punished, the news left me completely dumbfounded.

Rape is becoming increasingly common in today’s world and Pakistan is no different. However, had a well-known doctor or celebrity or an influential person raped so many women in our country, I doubt that he would have been brought to justice.

To justify my point, let’s take a look at the case of Mukhtaran Mai. Mai was gang raped in 2002 on orders of the local jirga, to punish her for her brother’s wrongdoing. The case was much discussed; people talked and wrote about it, the international media covered it extensively and many NGOs against rape were established under her name. Yet, Mai never got the one thing she wanted – justice. In fact, she was asked to marry one of her many rapists, in order to ‘get on’ with life.

No doubt, the rest of the world is trying to fight against rape and doing its best to stop this inhumanity. But I still feel that we are eons behind in this fight. In other countries, when a rape case surfaces, more than naught, justice is served. Why? Because they follow their laws and their lawmakers believe in the sanctity of the judiciary and are aware of their responsibilities.

But Pakistan doesn’t have that.

What we have is an inept justice system that lets convicts like Gullu Butt and Pomi Butt roam free, even after having substantial evidence proving their hooliganism. With such a system, how can a girl expect anything better?

People call India the rape capital of the world. I believe they are far better than us – at least their people stand up together and fight for their victims; unlike us. We stay mum, encourage others to do the same, sweep the guilt, filth and our screaming conscience under the carpet and simply ‘get on’ with life. In fact, we have come to a point where we secretly hope that the rapist marries the girl to save the family’s ‘honour’. What we forget to think about is the girl’s honour, her life and the justice that has been denied to her. We are good at what we do – staying absolutely mum.

You will often come across a Pakistani or two fervently exclaiming that the West is corrupting our youth, that it has no shame and no ‘respect’ for women. Now look at yourself in the mirror, Pakistan; what do you see?

Fazal Gilani

Fazal Gilani

A former news reporter for Samaa TV who is currently working as a freelance journalist. He has a Masters degree in Mass communication from GCUF. He tweets as @Gilaniism (twitter.com/Gilaniism)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Working Woman

    Roger Abdelmassih has been sentenced to 278 years in prison.


    Silly judgement indeedRecommend

  • Queen

    Well said. It is unfortunate that we do not want to talk about the ills present in our society and rape is one of them. The subject is taboo in our society and even if some one takes the courage to speak about it, he/she is termed ‘westernized’ or ‘un-Islamic’. It is also disturbing to see that whenever we hear any report about rape committed in any part of the country, we usually blame the girl for the act. No one pays any attention to the psychological impact of such incident on the victim.Recommend

  • Malti Chaturvedi

    women issues are a far cry …. pakistan has other things to worry…. for the time being lets c if whatever democracy existed in pakistan till today remains for few more days or not ……:)Recommend

  • Omer

    The situation of rape in India is far worse. The only case India stood up for was the Delhi bus gang rape case. Can you name us some other famous ones? Furthermore, their ministers are famous for speaking in favour of rapists. They are equally as worse when it comes to rape.Recommend

  • Prashant

    ” Yet, Mai never got the one thing she wanted – justice. In fact, she was asked to marry one of her many rapists, in order to ‘get on’ with life.”

    For some, that is doing justice to the victim and when the victim refuses to play victim for the second time by marrying her violator, she becomes an anti national for the enlightened moderates of the civil society who would accuse the victim of defaming the nation for a visa to US.

    Funny part is these are the same people who would advise others on why rape is bad when they have no shame in raping a women who is already raped.Recommend

  • Humza

    An Arab doctor is charged in Brazil for rape; Don’t you think there are similar cases all over the world? And yes neighboring India is the rape capital of the world but they too are working to improve. Mukhtaran Mai’s case is from 12 years ago and she successfully fought for her rights and set up a successful NGO. The main culprit in trying to discredit her at that time was Musharraf who shamelessly announced that Pakistani women like her wanted to get raped for overseas visas and money. Hopefully with the strengthening of civil society institutions, such attitudes like those of the last dictator will be gone forever.Recommend

  • Dr.N

    Nice article.
    Family honour being more important than the well-being of a female member of the family is a gruesome part of our culture. Would the family & society,behave the same way if the girl was mugged instead of raped ? If she’s mugged,she’s the innocent victim of a crime;but if she’s raped-she’s damaged goods who is tarnishing the family name.Recommend

  • Prashant

    You have won the rape debate against india 100-0. I hope that would make you happy.Recommend

  • Critical

    I hope this comment of yours would help you sleep better at night,Recommend

  • Saad Ali

    five camels lost their life in UAE, what should Pakistan do?Recommend

  • Parvez

    You nicely echoed my thoughts.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    How did they prove that the doctor was the rapistRecommend

  • FaqirIpi Marvat

    Mukhataran Mai Pakistani,gang rape victim (as they don’t take place in the US) gets the the center stage and rewards in the US.

    Sharmin Oberoi, Pakistani receives Oscar award for making a documentary film as a co-director with a British film director about acid attack on females in Pakistan.

    Most fortunate of all Pakistani females,Malala Yousafzai,apart from global iconic label is nominated as the top contender to receive the Noble Peace award possibly for the year 2013 for having stood up to the Pakistani Taliban’s and getting shot at for girls education.

    “Noticeably,above 3 incidents/issues have one thing in common the they portray a negative and bad image of Pakistani society, culture and above all Muslims at large.”

    I ask why these Pakistani students whose film on assassin CIA Drone attacks having killed innocent hundreds of children in Pakistan’s tribal areas and had won an award, were not even allowed visa by the USA administration ???.

    Let aside the Oscar or the Noble Peace award.Recommend

  • FaqirIpi Marvat

    These ruling elite and war/drone profiting mafia can not listen or understand nobodies from Waziristan. Because such stories and ideas of Waziristan genocide, plight,carnage are from the last century, which does not have any meaning in overall global imperial project and the war profiteers agenda. Without realizing the horror of the old, women, sick and kids and all those innocent living under drones 24/7, have no forum, no festivals, no platform to speak about their genocide. There is no human rights outcry, NGOs, civil society, media, state to acknowledge their sufferings. Just horrible silence for more than a decade.

    Our human rights, NGOs, civil society, media, state listen, discuss and promote only those thinkers, writers, ideas, stories like Malala, Hazara, Mukhtaran Mai who serve them, war profiteers and global imperial agenda well. Our elite, celebrity, intellectuals endorse minds that hail from their own class. And, if nothing else, one at least needs to have thousands of followers online in order to be seen as an author worth reading. Poor man, woman, children, weak, old are dieing for more than 10 years, without even knowing the ‘revolutionary wonders’of the social media.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Here in Pakistan, we would blame the rape victim and support the rapist. That is the tragic, terrible and shameful attitude people tend to have here.Recommend

  • Bangalorean

    Pls read newspapers. The people of bangalore came out in large numbers to protest a 6 year old girl’s rape in her school.This is a very recent case.Recommend

  • Raj

    They just relied on commonsense, local law and unbiased investigation instead of asking the women to bring 4 witness.Recommend

  • Haha…

    Assassin ? You call ,killing militants ,assassination ?Recommend

  • asy ma wail

    and you think that you are being read/heard by the people who are arguably not more than zombies ? The people with no remote idea of how it feels like when a respectable person has to wait for hours in a line run by some good damn NGO for food?Recommend

  • Nobody

    What a disservice you do to the women in your own country by dismissing their plight. When half your population is going through something and you think it isn’t significant. you’re part of the problem not the solution. Cheers.Recommend

  • ahmed

    Unbiased investigation is good. What was the local law? Thats my question . If you could please tell me that. Also do tell me where common sense wa used. Please don’t talk in abstract ideas. Recommend

  • Gp65

    Instead of making fun of the author, some introspection would be well placed.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Apart from the Delhi gang rape where in fact the rapists were not celebrities, Indian justice system has put behind the bars a top level journalist, retired supreme court judge and a poplar religious leader behind the bars.

    In the aftermath of Delhi gang rape, the people demanded not just justice for Mirbhaya but that the outdated laws on sexual violence be changed. That was achieved. In the most recent. Badayun rape case it was discovered that the police had failed to act on the rapists and Ondians were outraged. The pressure forced the state CM to change the home secretary.

    In any case, even before 2013 when the law was changed due to pulic pressure, Indian law did not require evidence of 4 ‘good’ men in a rape case which makes it almost impossile to convict a rapist.
    Our PM had the courage to speak from the Red Fort in his independence day speech that while the government would do everything o nab and punish the rapist, it was also the duty of the parents to put checks on theirsr sons instead of simply putting all the controls on the woman.Recommend

  • stevenson

    Did they give him a long sentence because Westerners are more harsh with Arabs?Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore

    so sick of constantly coming across these propagated articles attempting to make loose connections of distinct news items with the solo purpose of bashing Pakistan. Its not deriving change it is merely pulling up more barriers to it. Both are hate mongers wanting to see the doom of this great nation of ours.Recommend

  • Saad Ali


  • Grace

    Why is it alwayswho are involved in crimes in the West and other countries? It seems they have spread their corruption to others too. That’s why they need to be more harsh!Recommend

  • Dante

    He was just telling the truth.

    I hope that didn’t sting you too much.Recommend

  • Prashant

    The rapes in India are alarming else India would not protest the way we have been doing in the recent past and we also know that it is going to take time as this is not about just making laws but changing mindsets.

    If a person is taking comfort in the fact that there are hapless women getting raped else where especially in a country which you love to hate, I guess I have a right to respond.

    Please do respond if my response stings you too much.Recommend

  • Sane

    You are right there is no women issue in Pakistan. India has most and must take care immediately.Recommend

  • Hyder

    Dragging Pakistan into whatever happens in this world. Recommend

  • Malti Chaturvedi

    yeah right… no women issues….. i c the cause of women pain in pakistan….IGNORANCERecommend

  • jyoti

    The reason why more rapes are reported is because more and more hindu girls are getting empowered to speak out, muslim girls are equally the victims but they dont speak out Recommend

  • Prashant

    Well Jyoti, in my opinion, a girl does not need to be empowered either to get raped or to report it. I am sure the numbers are more when it comes to Hindu girls reporting rapes but who knows about the numbers which are not getting reported. Cheers.Recommend

  • PaulHalmosRules

    These Arabs are worse than Indians. And that’s saying something.

    However rape is not “becoming more common” in the world. It’s much less common EVERYWHERE. It’s being REPORTED more often now. Particularly in the countries where the most savage stuff happens [3rd world/developing]. 1st world countries the rape rate has gone DOWN massively.Recommend