Monday, 12 November 2018

Uproar in Pakistan over A Catholic Woman’s Sexually Harassment and Exploitation by a Muslim Head Teacher of a Government School

KASUR: A Catholic woman, Ishrat Saba, is sexually harassed and exploited by a Muslim Head Teacher, Zaheer Abbas, at village of Punjab Kacha Paka Chak No.43 Elementary School Serai Mughal, Pattoki, Kasur during school hours. 

The fact of the incident is that a Catholic Christian Government Teacher, Ishrat Saba mother of two children, is appointed as an elementary teacher at Village Kacha Paka Chak No.43 Boys Elementary School where she teaches Urdu. She is being sexually harassed and exploited by a Muslim Teacher, Zaheer Abbas, he started to approach her for sexual relationship by forcing her to watch sexual movies on his mobile phone and asked her sexual questions related to Christians in general. He was doing such acts from a long time and last he did last week of November and then she reported to the concerned Chief Executive Education Officer Kasur by a written complaint application. The Chief Executive Education Officer Kasur took notice on her complaint application and warned to Head Teacher and advised him to ask for apology from Catholic teacher and he admitted and asked for apology but very next day on 7 November 2018, his brother, Javed Nasir having pistol in hand and along with four unknown came and entered into school and started to shout at Christian teacher and used filthy language against her and also shouted at her calling her a ‘Churi’ a pejorative term used against Christian in Pakistan.

On dated 9 November, 2018 an FIR 364/18 under sections B/506,186 PPC, is registered at Police Station Serai Mughal against Javed Nasir and four unknown persons on the complaint of a male Muslim teacher instead making Ishrat Saba as a complainant. The culprits are still making threats to kill her due to threats she is not capable to attend her school. The police is also reluctant to any legal action against Muslim Head Teacher who has sexually harassed the Catholic teacher at school hours. The matter is still pending to provide justice for a vulnerable Catholic teacher.

Christian women are most at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation in Pakistan. They are sexually harassed and exploited by Muslims because of their vulnerability. There are moments in the lives of Pakistani Christian women that suddenly change their lives, they are forced to convert to Islam and forced to get marry with Muslims men. In the Month of April of this year, a Christian girl Asma Yaqoub, who was burnt alive because she refused to marry a Muslim and convert to Islam, and she was died. The story of Asma also recalls the story of Sonia Bibi, a 20 years old Christian from Multan, who was attacked with gasoline and burnt alive by a Muslim man three years ago.  

Monday, 2 October 2017

Christian and Hindu minors booked in blasphemy laws

Behawalnagar: It was confirmed by one of LEAD'S coordinators that two minors,sweepers, booked in blasphemy case after allegedly being accused of blasphemy charges by burning sacred pages of Quranic Verses .

An FIR no.1014/2017 was registered on September 28 at Police Station Bunga Dhongha,Behawalnagar, whereas the minors were charged under 295-B etc. Vishal Masih,Christian, and Bhola Ram ,Hindu,are employed as cleaners at Civil Hospital, Dunga,Bhongha,Behawalnagar.

According to contents of the FIR, the alleged blasphemy was committed at the Civil Hospital, Dunga, Bhongha,District Bahawalnagar. The complainant is a Policeman who claims that he received a phone call from a local journalist who informed him that Vishal son of Tariq had burnt government record whilst some pages containing Quranic verses were also among them.

The complainant claims that the incident unfolded on September 27, 2017. After being informed, he arrived at the scene and witnessed a large crowd gathered who detailed the incident to him. He claims that the incident was also brought to the notice of a Doctor of the Civil Hospital who filed a complaint in the police station however, withheld the information about burning of Quranic verses.

Blasphemy laws are very sensitive matter which could take the life of a alleged accused at any spot and for it only allegation is sufficient.Christians remained under constant fear and hide their true Christian faith to avoid blasphemy charges which is in contradiction of Islamic faith and way of life because it could be considered a blasphemy.

"It is strongly urged to the Churches to raise the issue of blasphemy laws and ask the Pakistani authority to repeal them or at least ask them that they can not be applicable on Christians other non-Muslim religious minorities,"Sardar Mushtaq Gill ,HRD lawyer and head of LEAD stated.

He further stated that a number of differences of faith and values are present among religions which can not be considered a blasphemy for opposite faith community.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

An other blasphemy accused Christian sentenced to death and LEAD ask to repeal blasphemy laws

Gujrat: A Christian accused of committing blasphemy has been sentenced to death by a local court. Nadeem James, resident of Sarai Alamagir was accused of committing blasphemy in July last year. He was accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a Muslim.

The complainant Yasir Bashir, approached City Division Police Station of Sarai Alamgir. Consequently, on July 10, 2016 FIR number 301 was lodged against Nadeem James, invoking 295A and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Shortly after the FIR was registered, Nadeem James fled while in his absence the police detained his two sisters.

According to family of the convict, Nadeem had been embroiled in blasphemy case because he had married a Muslim woman. Subsequently, the absconder was hooked by the Police and was being tried in District Jail Gujrat.

His trial concluded when the Additional Sessions Judge Irfan Haider sentenced him to death along with a fine of 3 lac Pakistani Rupees. In a 28 page ruling, the court stated that Nadeem James had sent blasphemous Whatsapp messages to Yasir Bashir.

Pakistan:Blasphemy laws-Slow poisoning genocide of Christians in Pakistan

A report compiled by LEAD-Legal Evangelical Association Development covering the period of twelve years of genocide of Christians in Pakistan by the so called Shari'ah-Blasphemy laws.

The Repeal Blasphemy Laws campaign holds that “blasphemy” laws are wrong in every ways for Christians:

They are inconsistent with and in derogation of Fundamental Rights

They endanger the security of person and property

They destroy the safeguards as to arrest and detention

They destroy the right to fair trial

They violate the human right to freedom of faith,religion and expression

They promote agenda of one faith and religion-Islam

They destroy the rule of law and equality

They instigate and enrage Muslims to attack Christians,to burn them alive and to burn their homes

They are overwhelmingly being used to settle personal vendettas and to settle their personal scores

They encourage to persecute Christians and for it the mere accusation of blasphemy is enough to make someone a target for hardliners, as is defending those accused of blasphemy or calling for the laws to be repealed.

They are not a pardonable offences in common and anyone who believes otherwise is also committing blasphemy, and must similarly pay with their life,but in practice for Muslims it is pardonable.

LEAD has three examples of such blasphemy cases in which the accused were Muslims and they set free from the blasphemy charges after granting pardon from Clerics and influential people inspite of the fact that the accused admission of committing blasphemy was proved.

Recently in early of this year a Muslim man Saghar Shehzad was arrested under blasphemy laws sections 295-A and 298-A.He was released from jail after granting pardon.

In the same way second case of blasphemy of burning Quranic pages was resolved by Muslim clerics and administration in 2013.

The third incident of blasphemy under accusation of derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad happened in 2005 and in the same way was resolved.

LEAD collected all these facts and dealt with a number of blasphemy cases of Christians and finally concluded that the main object of blasphemy laws is just a genocide of Christians in Pakistan,hence these laws should be repealed at every cost for the survival of Christianity in Pakistan.

LEAD asked national and international human rights groups and Churches to lobby for the repeal of the blasphemy laws because they destroy all human rights even which are guaranteed by the Constitution Of Pakistan as fundamental rights.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Killings of Christians in Pakistan and accusation of blasphemy are unbridled

PAKISTAN- LEAD got confirmed the killings of three Christians within the month of August 2017. Due to the personal and religious interests, grudges, money matters, or property issues, Islamic state and non-state actors allege Christians those results in confronting massively killing, shamefulness and troubles and threats of victimization by blasphemy laws.

Lahore- A Christian prisoner,Indaryas Ghulam  (38 ) a victim of circumstance was sentenced to death by hanging for alleged involvement in the death of two Muslim men who were lynched in the aftermath of the Lahore Twin Church Bomb attack in March 2015. On 13th August, the wife of Indaryas was called by local police and informed that her husband had passed away. When the wife saw his dead body, she was shocked at the number of bruises and cuts on his body - a clear indication of the brutality faced by Indarayas from police and prison staff. Indaryas was also suffering from Tuberculosis a disease he contracted only 3 months prior to his arrest in March 2015, Indarayas was never provided proper health care and carried his poor health with dignity never letting his children know how much pain he was in. To date no reason has been given for his death simply a statement that he died of poor health.
BOREWALA- Sheron Masih, resident of Chak-461/EB, wanted to leave the school during recess for home but his Muslim class fellows Ahmed Raza and other, did not let him go.Then they tortured him severely and kicked and punched Sheron, who collapsed on the school premises and later he was died at the Burewala Tehsil Headquarters Hospital.

It is confirmed that the Police have registered a case against Ahmed and his other accomplices under section 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code,the Headmaster expelled from school, while accused escapes. Sheron Masih was pressurized at School by his Muslim class fellows to accept Islam and remained worried on this pressure.

HAFIZABAD- A Christian man namely Sharif Masih ,resident of Village Kalianwala of District Hafizabad, on Thursday 31th August,stabed to death by a Muslim landlord Muhammad Asif after his refusal to work at his fields.The case FIR has been registered against the killer.

LEAD has limited its work only to advocacy as its members are under life threats from Qadri's group and due to the security issues our field work will be passive for a while,because from 4th January 2017, a new wave of threats and harassment has been started against Sardar Mushtaq Gill,HRD Lawyer and his family and other members of LEAD,he was threatened to be killed via face-book by one of members of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri supporters namely Ali Khan whose face-book profile shows he is from Karachi (Bachh...beta ab teri bhi bari ane wali hai....... Mumtaz Qadri hai Ek or yahan) and some other including Babar Ali Qadri and Ghulam Murtaza Qadri are making harassed to file false and baseless complaints against members of LEAD. 

Extremist Islamic group Fedane Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, Chunian,Kasur along with others religious extremists groups chanted slogans against the execution of Mumtaz Qadri during a rally in Lahore on January. 25, 2016 and after the hanging of the killer Mumtaz Hussain Qadri,the extremists supporters of Qadri threatened Sardar Mushtaq Gill,human rights defender, during a rally in Bhai Pheru early morning on Monday,29 February ,2016.They also used threatening slogans against Mr.Gill who is also critic of blasphemy laws. Qadri was hailed as hero of Islam by all religious Islamic groups.

Blasphemy is a highly controversial issue in Pakistan, and angry mobs have killed many people accused of insulting Islam in the Muslim-majority country. The law does not define blasphemy but stipulates that the penalty is death.Islamic groups also issued a decree (Alamia) that anyone who support blasphemy accused in any way would be considered blasphemer and be punished in the appeal case of Asia Bibi,death convict.The purpose of this Alamia is to terrify victims of human rights violations and their supporters.

On 12 August 2017,a Christian boy Asif Masih(16 years old) was badly beaten by a mob after being accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran outside a shrine in a village near Wazirabad.When the police took the suspect into custody a crowd of 200 gathered outside the police check post demanding he be handed over to them, after which he was moved to another station.

Asif has been charged under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code that hands life imprisonment for desecrating the Holy Quran. He will face trial under blasphemy law.

In July, a blasphemy case FIR no.273/17 under section 295-C PPC, has been registered at Police Station Dingha,Gujrat against a Christian sweeper Shahzad Masih on the complaint of a member Tehrik-e-Tahafz Islam Raja Nadeem.

In June,a Christian bicycle mechanic namely Ashfaq Masih, in Lahore was arrested over accusations of blasphemy after he became a part of a quarrel in respect to payment for services with a customer.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Christian man sentenced to life imprisonment on mobile sms blasphemy charges

Rawalpindi: Reportedly trial court has sentenced a Christian Pastor Zafar Bhatti to lifetime imprisonment over mobile phone sms blasphemy charges.Bhatti, was tried by the court within the premises of the Adiala Central Jail, Rawalpindi. On May 3, the court sent him to lifelong imprisonment despite there was lack of sound evidence against him.

Zafar Bhatti was accused of insulting Islam in cell-phone text messages he sent in 2012. He denied the charges, and pointed out to the court that the cell phone in question was not his name.He had been held in prison.

Gazala Khan,a Christian woman co-accused was declared innocent by the police during the investigation in spite of  the fact that the cell-phone in question was registered on her name.She was on bail but in report about her acquittal was nothing mentioned.Reportedly, ,Ghazala Khan (39) passed away in November 2016 after losing a battle with Hepatitis C, thus surviving the ignominy of being sentenced for blasphemy charges.

Since the accusations were leveled against Bhatti, he has been behind the bars in Adiala Jail. In the view of sensitivity of the case, he was being tried in the jail premises. Reportedly on April 24, the court tried him and the decision was reserved. On May 3, he was handed a decree of lifetime imprisonment.  

Reportedly, Bhatti has faced several attempts on his life at the prison including an incident of poisoning on March 31st 2103, which left him bleeding from his nose and mouth and left him in critical condition for days.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Teenage Christian abductee recovered from richling’s custody

Vahari: LEAD has confirmed that the abducted teenage Christian girl safely recovered but matter is pending before the court for handing oved to whom family or abductor as she was converted and got married with one of her abductors, 14-year-old Maria Bibi, was abducted by Amjad Ali and his accomplices. The abductee was purportedly sexually assaulted during this period. Initially the police showed reluctance to register a case against the abductor.

Subsequently, an FIR was registered invoking Section 365/B of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against Amjad Ali son of Niaz Mughal. Amjad and his accomplices had raided that house of the Christian minor at around 3:00 am and abducted her at gunpoint. Maria’s grandfather Shahab Masih and mother Bushra Bibi are pleading for the girls’ recovery. “Let my voice be heard in front of the Chief Minister of Punjab,” said Shahab Masih and finally police recovered the victim and handed over back to the family.

In Pakistan, abduction of girls from minorities’ communities has been on the higher side since years. These girls after abduction are sexually assaulted, forcibly married to the abductors and forced into conversions. A report compiled few years back detailed that every year about one thousand minorities’ girls are abducted and forced to convert.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Christian teenage girl sexually assaulted after abduction, no FIR registered

Gaggo Mandi: Christian teenage girl sexually assaulted by son of landlord. The incident occurred in Gaggo Mandi, a town in Vehari District. 14-year-old, Maria Bibi was abducted on gun point by son of the landlord and his accomplices. Police are yet to register an FIR of the incident, while the family of the victim plead for the recovery of their daughter.
Victim Maria Bibi daughter of Ashraf Masih (late) was working the field when Amjad cast bad eye on her. At night time, Amjad along with his accomplices arrived at Maria’s house at around 3:00 am and abducted her on gunpoint. Maria’s grandfather Shahab Masih and mother Bushra Bibi are pleading for the girls’ recovery, however. “Let my voice be heard in front of the Chief Minister of Punjab,” said Shahab Masih.

Bushra Bibi and her brother Boota Masih have urged the Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, RPO Multan and DPO Vehari to take immediate steps in this matter. “If our daughter is not rescued from the clutches of the landlord’s son we will prefer death over life,” victimized Christian family said.

Maria’s mother said that we have already pleaded the authorities but they all seem to be powerless, as Amjad’s father Niaz Mughal is an influential man in the area. Boota Masih said that although an application has been submitted at local police station, yet no FIR of the incident has been registered. “No action has been taken in order to recover our daughter,” he said.CIP