A documentary about the Kasur scandal — that is, Pakistan's largest child sexual abuse scandal — has been nominated at the New York Festivals this year.
Titled Kasur's Lost Children, the documentary is a 48-minute investigation that follows one activist on his journey to bring justice to the victims. It's been directed and produced by Pakistani filmmaker Shehzad Hameed. The documentary was screened as part of the third season of Channel NewsAsia's award-winning investigative series Undercover Asia.
This is Shehzad's second honour at the New York Festivals. In 2016, he won the Gold Medal in the Best Documentary: Community Portraits category for his earlier documentary Flight of the Falcons. Kasur's Lost Children has been nominated in the Best Documentary: Human Concerns category this year.
The Kasur scandal was unearthed in July 2015 when Ganda Singh police booked a gang of 15 suspects and arrested three of them on charges of sodomy, extortion and threatening 'hundreds' of boys and girls and recording their videos in Hussain Khanwala village.
The gang, according to the FIRs, had recorded videos while sodomising young boys and raping girls and extorted millions of rupees as well as gold jewellery from villagers since 2009. Reportedly, the entire village was aware of the alleged offence but no one dared report it to police as the suspects were allegedly influential.
Kasur's Lost Children is available to watch online here.