Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kasur, Pakistan, on Wednesday to protest against the grotesque rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari. The body of the girl was found in a dumpster on January 9, days after she went missing while her parents were on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, and the news sent shockwaves across the country.
A TV news anchor for Samaa TV, Kiran Naz, decided to protest in a unique, impactful way, by bringing her own young daughter on the news broadcast (video above).
“Today, I am not your news anchor Kiran Naz. Today I am here as a mother. This is why I am sitting here with my daughter,” said the defiant anchor, expressing her solidarity with Zainab. Overcome with rage and emotions, she continued the introduction to the news bulletin with her daughter in her lap, saying, “It is true when they say that the smallest coffins are the heaviest. And a small coffin like this is on the streets of Kasur and entire Pakistan is burdened by the weight of her coffin.”
Naz’s emotional broadcast (find the edited version below) expressed the rage felt by the protestors and people in Pakistan at the incident, and several other such incidents that occurred over the past year. “It is not just Zainab who has died, it is all of humanity,” the anchor poignantly stated.
Zainab was believed to have been abducted from a tuition centre near her house on January 4, and according to autopsy reports, had been raped several times and strangled before being left in the dumpster. The incident sparked a severe backlash leading to violent protests in Pakistan, and prompted a social media movement hashtagged #JusticeForZainab.