Islamabad: After a local court dismissed the petition of US blogger Cynthia Dawn Ritchie seeking registration of a rape case against Senator Rehman Malik, she said she would knock the Supreme Court’s door for justice.
“Yes, we will take the Senator Rehman Malik rape case up to the Supreme Court if we have to,” she said in a tweet. In a separate post, she said: “I will not give up on this matter. If we can’t get justice here in Pakistan, I will ensure all of this is handled in the USA.”
Cynthia told Gulf News that her “team will continue to work with the Pakistani system to the fullest extent of the law, including elevating this case to Pakistan’s Supreme Court, if needed. Otherwise, we will seek justice in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”
Commenting on the dismissal of the rape case by the court, Cynthia Ritchie said: “My rape case against former Interior Minister Rehman Malik ultimately never had a chance for an objective investigation nor judgment due to PPP’s continued influence over the police and judicial systems.” She also said that the lack of any support “for an impartial investigation from the women’s rights movements and current PTI government is disappointing.”
Court dismissed the case over lack of evidence
On Wednesday, the sessions court of Islamabad rejected US blogger’s request to register a case against former interior minister Rehman Malik after a police report termed the complaint baseless stating that Ritchie failed to submit evidence or medical report to verify the allegation of rape in 2011. Additional District and Sessions Judge Nasir Javed Rana conducted hearing of the case. Cynthia’s counsel, Imran Feroz Malik, requested the court to order police to register a case against the former interior minister.
Meanwhile, the same court dismissed a petition filed by Senator Malik seeking registration of Rs500 million defamation suit against the American blogger. Malik also demanded a prompt withdrawal of the allegation and an unqualified apology over “false, frivolous and baseless allegation of rape against him”.
On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court told the interior ministry to decide the deportation case of Cynthia in three weeks after a petition was filed by a PPP supporter Iftikhar Ahmed seeking her deportation on grounds that her visa had expired. However, Cynthia has claimed that her visa is valid until August 31.
On June 6, Cynthia Ritchie, a Pakistan-based American filmmaker, accused senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders of abusing her in 2011. In a video message posted on Facebook, Ritchie claimed that she had been raped some nine years ago by then interior minister Rehman Malik and was physically manhandled by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as well as then federal minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin. She later filed a report on June 17. The PPP leaders rejected the allegations by the blogger.
The move came a week after the PPP filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing against Cynthia for allegedly defaming former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on social media.