Thursday, 2 July 2015

Christian women tortured, man's head shaved, paraded on donkeys on blasphemy accusation

Shiekhupura: Sardar Mushtaq Gill , Human Rights Defender and head of LEAD was informed about the incidence of blasphemy in Chak No. 460 Makki, Farooqabad on June 30, 2015 that two Christian women named Rukhsana and Rehana living in same home as joint family were using a flex as a carpet in their home. A Muslim neighbour lady came their home and noticed the use of flex and she told that she wanted to buy it for her home which she priced 400 Pakistani Rupees, while Christian women demanded 1,000 Pakistani Rupees as its price which they had originally paid. The arguments arose among Christian women and the Muslim woman.Then she started shouting that Christian women had committed blasphemy by using that Pena Flex as a carpet, alleging that it has images of 'Holy Books and Quran Verses.

On which angry Muslim mob gathered and dragged Christian women out of home and started beating and tortured them, man's head shaved, paraded on donkeys around the village.
Reportedly these are the facts:

Rukhsana wife of Awais Qamar Alias Gareeba and Rehana wife of Ashraf Masih are the two real sisters who live together in a joint family  in Chak No. 460 Makki village. Awais Qamar is a laborer and was working in a school’s building for the renovation of school. Rukhsana and Awais have four children namely Farzana, Waqas, wickson and Sherry. Whereas Rehana have two children named Chand and Sawera.

Awais found a used flex of the school having monogram of books on it and in Arabic it was written on it (God give me knowledge). As Rukhsana, Awais and their whole family are uneducated they do not know what was written on it. Rukhsana started using that Flex as a floor Matt. On 30 June at about 8:00 am one Muslim neighbor woman Kaneez Bibi visited their home,her husband is a Milk man and he used to sell milk in the village.She noticed the floor matt and asked Rukhsana to give her the matt. Rukhsana refused to give the floor matt to her and demanded Rs. 1,000 against the matt. Kaneez said that she only had 400 Rupees and Rukhsana couldn't take milk against 600 remaining amount, but Rukhsana insisted on cash payment against the floor Matt. Kaneez Bibi agreed and she said that she would call her brother to pay Rukhsana 1,000 Rupees. Kaneez Bibi went out and called one of her brother Muhammad Nasir to the home of Rukhsana. Muhammad Nasir son of Ahmad Yar reportedly belonged to Sipa-e-sahaba group noticed the Flex lying on the floor having something in Arabic written on it. He without giving it a second thought started beating Rukhsana while Kaneez Bibi joined him and then she went out and called other people as well that Rukhsana has committed Blasphemy. Within seconds the whole village surrounded the home of Rukhsana. The Villagers also called her husband Awais; they shaved the head of Awais and started doing the same with Rukhsana and Rehana but a few of the locals intervened and asked the mob not to do this with the women.Meanwhile the whole mob blacken the faces of the three Christians i.e. Rukhsana, Rehana and Awais and put the shoes garland in their necks and forced them to sit on the donkeys and paraded them in the whole village, teasing and beating them.

Some people from the village called the Police.During this time many people outside the village belonged to Sipa-e-Sahaba reached the spot while DPO (District police officer) also reached the village with hundreds of Police men. The police took over the entire village and surrounded the village to control the situation. DPO negotiated with the local Muslims and their head cleric Qari Yaseen who agreed on this condition that both families of Rukhsana and Rehana would leave the village and would not come back again, he also agreed not to burn the village but Qari Muhammad Nasir was not agree upon the settlement and forgiveness. He insisted to kill all of them as they have insulted the Holy Quran and the verses of Quran. DPO observed the Flex and put the Flex in police’s custody. DPO also knew that it was not Quranic verses and he tried to explain this to the mob but the angry mob was not ready to listen to the DPO on any condition so he put the whole family in the Police van and took them to Sheikhupura in his police station while left hundreds of Police men in the village for the security of the other Christians.

Reportedly the concerned SHO told that there is no FIR against the said accused because there was no blasphemy. But the police will stay in the village few days for the safety of the other Christians.

It is alarming things for Government to consider the continuously misused of blasphemy laws against the poor and defenceless Christians of Pakistan and mob violence on pretexts of blasphemy laws.It is time to strictly handle the issue of misuse of blasphemy laws against religious minority particularly Christians.Law should be in motion against the responsible and justice should be prevailed in society for peace and harmony.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Obstacle in Justice:The filed bail petition for mentally ill blasphemy accused withdrew without decision

LAHORE: On 24 May , 2015 a blasphemy case FIR number 424/2015 under section 295 B PPC registered at Police Station Gulshan Ravi,Lahore against a mentally unstable Christian man,Humayun Faisal (30).On 6 June LEAD's lawyers filed bail petition in the Court of Session Judge,Lahore which was fixed for 27 June for final arguments in the Court of Mr. Mubashar Nadeem Khan,Additional and Session Judge,Lahore after waiting a number of hearing for police record.

Yesterday 27 June early in the morning Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender and Advocate High Court along with team of LEAD Mr. Aric John, Advocate High Court,Mr. Rana Adnan, Advocate High Court and court clerk Mr. Qaiser Younas appeared in the court for final arguments and it was disclosed that their power of attorney was superseded by some other lawyers who did not want to get him release from jail.The judge asked about arguments on bail petition and the lawyer said they wanted to draw back it.The bail petition was withdrawn without any decision of court.

In March 2013,a case under section 295-C PPC registered against a Christian sweeper Sawan Masih and for his release a bail petition was filed by LEAD's lawyers and in the same way after making superseding the power of attorney of LEAD's lawyers the bail was withdrawn back without any decision of court.

There is a group of non-lawyers who just work on such cases and issues for their own motives and objectives instead of work for justice and get relief for victims.From blasphemy cases to rape cases,the same practice is going on recently in a gang-rapped case of Jaranwala,it was come on surfaced that there was one kind of obstacle in the way of seeking justice for victims is from the same group who first worked on it.

In this case a large number of people gathered on the spot and some of them even tried to burn him alive but on the intervention of police , he was saved. Later a charged mob reached the house of the accused and recorded their protest.The mob, some armed with deadly weapons, chanted slogans of Allah-o-Akbar also resorted to aerial firing. They looted around 15 houses in the area.Fearing for their lives, most residents left their houses .

There is a long history of religion-based trouble in the county and Lahore and its surroundings have been at the center of some ugly faith-related incidents in the recent past.

In March 2013, Christian residents of Joseph Colony, Lahore, were attacked, leading to destruction of Christian homes on a large scale.
In November 2014, a Christian couple was burnt alive to death in Kot Radha Kishan after a false allegation of desecration of Quranic pages.

Then in March this year, police was posted at various churches in the wake of violence following twin suicide attacks in two churches in Youhanabad.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Rights Lawyer's Legal Fight for Justice for Raped Victim Christian Girls

JARANWALA: Two Christian girls ,who are real sisters, allegedly gang-raped after kidnap at gunpoint, whilst using forest area as toilet last year on 28 November at evening 6:30 pm. The alleged both accused released from jail after granted bail from trial court Jaranwala.

The cancellation of bail petition no.3482/15 against Muhammed Azeem, one of the allegedly rapists of Sherish and Farzana, two Christians girls that were repeatedly raped and brutalised by five men, was fixed on 15th May 2015 in a Lahore High Court trial presided over by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood.
On this date the team of lawyers representing the accused man battled with BPCA partner LEAD attorney Sardar Mushtaq Gill , Human Rights Defender, and his team.  Both teams of attorneys set out their cases during which Mr.Gill pleaded for the evidence of the two sisters to be recorded away from the trial court in Jaranwala, he argued that the accused men and their cohorts are continuously extending threats towards witnesses for the victim sisters, their family and Gill himself whose brother was shot.

The lawyer of the accused  agreed to this undertaking  however Judge Sardar Tariq Masood directed the trial court to conclude the trial at Jaranwala court by 9th June 2015.  He warned Muhammed Azeem that any bad behaviour could lead to immediate re-arrest and incarceration of the both. Mr.Justice Masood spoke directly to Mr.Gill and instructed him to submit an application for re-arrest to the court should the accused or his cohorts create any further problems, advising Gill that the court would send Muhammed Azeem and Shahbaz back to jail immediately for any misdemeanour.

On 30th May 2015 the opening hearing was at trial court Jaranwala and the two sisters recorded their statements as did many of their witnesses including the complainant Ilyas Masih, father of the two sisters.

Police and the designated mediact practitioner have also submitted their evidences, which has been duly recorded.The lawyer of the Accused did not appear at the court, which has delayed the potential cross-examination also.  The next date for the trial court hearing has been fixed for today 4th June by the Additional and Session Judge Arshad Javaid.   

Today ,the trial case fixed for cross-examination of witnesses and one witness was disappeared from court after threats extended towards both private witnesses.The attorney of the accused refused to cross the witnesses on the pretext that one witness was not present.

Mr.Gill pleaded that the both private witnesses were being threatened to face dire consequences if they appeared for cross-examination.The one witness who was present in court stated that he was being threatened by the alleged accused to be fired at by them.The judge recorded it in interim orders.One complaint application has been also submitted in the concerned police station.

Now the case fixed for tomorrow because of the direction of Lahore High Court again for crss-examination of witnesses.Mr.Gill remains confident that justice will prevail for the two sisters,he said because we believe in justice which is being provided by Pakistani judiciary.

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Christian Man Mentally Unstable Booked In The Accusation of Burning of Quranic Pages Kept in Trash Cans

LAHORE:Yesterday Sunday 24 May at about 2:00 PM a Christian man Hamuyun alias Faisal mentally unstable booked in blasphemy case FIR No.424/15 under section 295-B PPC at Police Station Gulshan Ravi on the complaint of a Muslim man Sayed Zeeshan Haider.
According to the contents of FIR,the complainant was passing by the canal of dirty waters where he saw a man was taking out and burning some torn Quranic papers from a trash cans which was hanging and fixed with a pole of electricity.The complainant along with his other companions seized and hold the alleged accused and a large number of people gathered on the spot.The police arrived on the spot by 15 call and took the accused in their custody and locked police station
At evening around about 6:00 PM, a large number in hundreds an enraged mob of Muslims get-togethered at a local mosque after evening prayer and they started marched towards Christian residential area where the alleged accused was residing.

The Christian of the area were already warned and informed about the possible attack from the police and they locked their homes and fled away to save for their lives because they were told that the same attacked would happened as in Joseph Colony.
The incident of blasphemy case occurred in other area and homes of Christians' attacked at other area where the alleged accused was residing with his family.
The enraged mob attacked at Christians homes and broken their windows,doors and electric meters.They also looted the household things.They forcibly entered in the Catholic St.Joseph Church and they wanted to burn but on timely intervention of the police and the rangers the mob was unable to be successful in their motives and during the clashes between the mob and the police, one senior Police officer got injured.
The case was registered and the alleged accused was arrested even then the enraged mob was not agree to be cooled down and maintained to peace in the area and they attacked at Christians homes because they are easy targeted and no strong grip of law which could restrained them to do this illegal act.
Today Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender and Advocate High Court visited the affected areas and met with some Christian local residents who came back after the attack.They are terrified and fearful by the Muslims.It is concluded after taking interviews of different Christians of the area that it has become difficult for Christians to live with Muslims majority unless the blasphemy laws are in books for them to take breaths in the presence of these laws is become too difficult.

We are raising our voice on different forums and making it clear with evidences that this law is being used against Christians to make them more depressed.We have requested international community to take stand with us for its abolition and we hope they will take stand with us and support our stance on misuse of blasphemy laws against Christians in Pakistan.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Christian couple lynching case moving towards justice

LAHORE:Yesterday 21 May,2015 An Anti-Terrorism Court  (ATC) charged 106 accused in the lynching case of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan last year.

The court has also summoned prosecution witnesses to record their statements against the accused.

Last year ,on November 4, 2014, Shama and Shehzad were beaten to death by an charged mob over false accusation of blasphemy  and then thrown into the furnace of a brick kiln where the couple worked.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Justice served In Afghanistan and How long will be delayed to serve In Pakistan

PAKISTAN: Afghan woman brutally lynched on 19 March, 2015 by an enraged Muslim mob in Kabul capital of Afghanistan. She was accused of burning a copy of the Koran, and in response she was beaten, tortured to death, then her corpse was set ablaze.

Reportedly, an Afghan Judge Safiullah Mojaddidi, today Wednesday, 5 May, 2015 sentenced four men to death for the public lynching in Kabul of a 27 years old woman and announced that the convicted Zainul Abiddin, Mohammad Yaqub, Mohammad Sharif and Abdul Bashir would be hanged.

Last year, on 4 November, 2014, a charged Muslim mob about 1500 gathered from surrounding five villages after hearing the announcement from different Mosques’ loudspeakers and the mob attacked a young Christian couple, Shahzad and Shama (she was pregnant), after accusing them of desecration of Quranic pages and later after beating burnt them alive in the brick kiln where they worked. The couple had three minors.

The case is still pending in a Pakistani court and Justice is questing how long it will be delayed to serve for the Christian couple who was falsely accused in the blasphemy charges.

In Pakistan, the investigation is always biased and defective if the matter is concerning with Christians community or poor community from rape to murder cases and from forced marriages to blasphemy cases  even if the civil matter is related to Christians there is no hope of fair report of commission.

We are dealing two gang-rape cases and representing victims in trial courts. In these two cases the investigators dishonestly favored to the accused by making weak prosecution through investigation.In one case,there is medical evidence which shows rape is committed even then the investigator converted it in attempt of rape.  

We wish to see a prosperous Pakistan where justice will prevail and implementation on rule of law should be granted without discrimination of faith and status. This is the challenge for which we at LEAD are trying to contribute.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A Christian woman murdered by unknown persons

NAROWAL: Yesterday at about 10:00 am,a  Christian woman Saba BiBi, mother of two children,murdered by unknown when she was alone at home.The FIR has been registered at local police station against unknown persons and investigation is in process.

Today,Farhad Aslam son of the Rev.Aslam Barkat D.S Narowal Church called to Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender and asked for legal assistance in the murdered case.He also made arranged his talked with the victim's uncle A.S. Raja who gave the facts of the blind murdered case.

Raja told that Saba about 32 years old had two children one son and one daughter whose ages are between 10 to 8 years and her husband is living in Spain.He told that the police had made assured them to find out the perpetrators.

"We have no enmity with anyone and we do not want to give names to police of any innocent persons",said Raja.

He further stated that tomorrow would be funeral service of the victim.

Sardar Mushtaq Gill head of LEAD said that our legal services at LEAD would be free of cost and we will fight for justice.We request to pray for victim's family and her two children and also for LEAD's staff and its work for persecuted Church.