Monday, 28 July 2014

Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan is a major tool of persecution against religious minorities.How Long?

PAKISTAN:Today,July 28,2014 Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD has received a number of phone calls by different persons.Those persons have put one important question " Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan is a major tool of persecution against religious minorities.How Long?  ". 
According to different sources,one more incident occurred of burning homes of Ahmadi Minority by a charged mob at late evening on Sunday, July 27th,in which three Ahmadis,including two minors, killed in Gujranwala.

This tragic incident happened on the pretext that an Ahmadi youth had defaced a picture of the Khana Ka’bah (the Sacred Mosque) on Facebook.
According to Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk  Facts of the incident.
"This is a new way of making involved the user of social media in blasphemy cases about which we have fears and concerns that it will not be ended,"told Gill.
He further added that we at LEAD are providing legal assistance in a number of blasphemy cases of Ahmadi religious minority group in Pakistan.
We have launched an International Campaign against Blasphemy Law for its repeal because under these blasphemy law we all religious minorities in Pakistan are not safe and feel insecure every time and on every point because of happening of such like incidents.
Last year 2013 a fully charged mob of almost 4,000 religious zealots gathered around Joseph Colony,a Christian-dominated area and burnt more than 180 homes of Christians including two Churches after making false levelled of blasphemy against a Christian man.

In November 2010,Asia Bibi,a Christian mother,was convicted under section 295 C PPC and sentenced to death.Since from the accusation to death conviction,she is languishing in jail and is awaiting her appeal decision which is now pending in the Lahore High Court.Her appeal hearing is being cancelled consecutively five times.The last one time, it was postponed when the counsel for the complainant did not turn up.

On this disappointing situation Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Chief of LEAD, stepped forwarded and decided to apply law to seek relief from The court for setting date of hearing in her appeal because the law has given remedy to the accused or convicted to seek relief by using and applying this provision of law.

June,24,2014 LEAD filed petition in Lahore High Court,Lahore for the re-fixation of earlier hearing of Asia Bibi's appeal case which was heard on June 25th.The Court  ordered to office of Lahore High Court to explore the scope of fixation of appeal hearing of Asia Bibi near future and ordered for submitting report within three days which was submitted on June 27th.Again the petition fixed for June 30th,the Court told the lawyers that according to the report, submitted by the Office of LHC,the appeal of Asia Bibi proposed to be fixed for September 9,2014 and on this order of the Court the petition disposed off after the lawyers' consent.

"As we have  pledged to do all we can to help free Asia Bibi,we at LEAD will do and our work will speak",told Gill.

Our tireless efforts and struggle be continue for rule of law,religious liberty and freedom; and campaign to repeal blasphemy law.Our request to human rights organisations to support our work morally and physically and stand with us.We request to pray for our safety and for wisdom and encourage our work with your heartily prayers.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

LEAD Protest Over Torture and Injustices with brick kiln workers

LAHORE: LEAD protested and expressed its concern over injustices being held with brick kiln workers and their physical torture by brick-kiln owners.Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD said under the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,1973 it was strictly prohibited to take force work but brick kiln workers were behaved as if they were slave and Kiln owners take work from them forcibly with lesser wages. 

Bashir said the labour class was constrained to take advance payment as loan because of low wages. Afterwards even next generations are unable to payoff the loans. And in this way the slavery is transformed from one generation to another generation. 

During protest,Sakina Bibi,a social worker and midwife expressed that pregnant women are being given poor diet during pregnancy,which have long term impact on Child's Health,the mothers who eat an unhealthy diet during pregnancy may be putting their children at risk of developing long term, irreversible health issues including obesity, raised levels of cholesterol and blood sugar. 

Yousaf,one Brick kiln worker, added that they come know many cases of such physical torture in which "the victims “ become injured and cannot be able to work to earn a livelihood for their families and they are terrified and under fear ; and often they do not dare to register complaint against brick kiln owners who torture them due to their being influential figure.

Pakistan is one of the countries where forced work is taken from laborers even in this post-modern era.Tens of thousand of people are living their lives like slaves even in these days too when the world has become as a global village.

We at LEAD demand the government to all brick kilns should be registered and the kiln workers should be registered with social security department.Wages of laborers in all Pakistan should be made implemented which were set by the Government and also it should be implemented.The kiln owners should be handled strictly by laws if they torture the laborers.

Monday, 14 July 2014

LEAD to challenge Protection of Pakistan Act,2014 In LHCL

Lahore: Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and chief of LEAD has criticized the Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014,and told they will challenge in Lahore High Court ,Lahore.
Gill terms the Protection of Pakistan Act,2014 unconstitutional and against the fundamental and human rights.This new law is in violation of Article 4,9,10 of the constitution of Pakistan.

“This Act is unconstitutional and repugnant to the fundamental rights.Therefore,LEAD will raise its voice against it ,” Gill said. He said that there is possibility that the new law would turn the country into a police state as a Grade-15 police officer could issue shooting order to his subordinates.This law would be a new instrument of persecution poor,marginalized and member of minority sects and particularly labor class.

He said that the Act empowered law enforcement agencies including police to keep a suspect in detention for 60 days and we know Police make any suspect.This new law would also be misused against member of civil society.The rich will misuse it against the poor to oppressed them.

We at LEAD also urged the lawyers community and human rights defenders to raise their voice against the draconian law and stand firmly against this black law.We also protest on different forums against the new law.

In Pakistan there are already some controversial and discriminatory laws which should be repealed or at least to be amended up to this level that they would not be misused.The most controversial law is blasphemy law that should be repealed which is a hanging sword on Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.  

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Christians In Pakistan Told To Convert To Islam for continuity of a business of selling cooked rice for eating, ‘Otherwise They Will Face Consequences

Why Pakistani Christians for search of a new homeland?Where they can also enjoy religious freedom,freedom of business etc in true words.
Lahore:Today,June,25,2014 ,a Poor Christian man Jabar Masih,who is living at Christian Colony,Village Nahla Lahore, came and informed Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD how he was threatened and warned by some extremists to stop selling cooked rice.
Jabar is a Poor man who sells cooked rice for eating in his owned shop from which both Christian and Muslim come ,buy and eat.This is very minor business by which he is earning his livelihood.He told that some armed extremists came at his shop and forcibly made closed his shop.They threatened to kill him if he would remain to do this business of selling cooked rice. They also warned him if he wished to run this business then he must convert to Islam otherwise he and his family had to face dire-consequences including filing complaint against him in Police Station.He also shared that he was told by them that Christians were not allowed to run such kind of business.This is crime for Christian if they do such kind of business.
Jabar asked the following things to Mr.Gill.Is it really crime? Could you give us legal assistance? What now we will do?
Gill told him that it was not crime in the eyes of law.LEAD will give you legal assistance where it is needed.You must file complaint against them in the concerned Police station.
"We were threatened that they would burnt our homes as they burnt Joseph colony",told Jabar."We became terrified and desperate due to this act of the extremists",he added.
He further expressed that there was one an other Christian man who was selling fruit,he was also threatened by them to close the shop or convert to Islam.
"I was also attacked brutally by the armed extremists,I had bruises all over my body.Same day, other Christian man was also beaten severely," he explained.
Today ,he has filed a complaint in Police Station Manga Mandi and now see what Police will do for them.
Now the conditions are not easy for Christians when it comes to living in Pakistan, as they have to face problems of faith base discrimination, hatred and insults from the small level to sometimes the high level.
LEAD is an advocacy and free legal aid Christian faith based organization which request to all Human Rights Organizations to stand with us.We request for prayer,wisdom,resources,and health.We are also very much thankful for those who are supporting morally and financially our human rights work in Pakistan.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

LEAD's Petition In Lahore High Court to seek re-fixation of Asia Bibi's Appeal Hearing

LAHORE:Today,June,24,2014 LEAD has filed petition in Lahore High Court,Lahore for the re-fixation of earlier hearing of Asia Bibi's appeal case.The petition is fixed for tomorrow in the Court of Mr.Justice Muhammad Anwar Ul Haq for arguments.
Asia Bibi’s Appeal against Death conviction and Sentence Cancelled for Fifth Time without listed the case on May,27,2014.The last one time, it was postponed when the counsel for the complainant did not turn up.
Since from the accusation to death conviction,she is languishing in jail and she is awaiting her appeal decision which is pending in the Lahore High Court,Lahore.
"We have confidence in our Judiciary and we are hopeful for her release because she is innocent",told Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD.

"As we have  pledged to do all we can to help free Asia Bibi,we at LEAD will do and our work will speak",he further added.
He said now the time come to step forward to pledge the full support of our team in working towards her freedom.We know that we are under threats and will more we have to face death threats instead of all these threats and intimidation our work of human rights will be continued for her and all other victims of human rights violation.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Petitions Filed For Cancellation Of Bail Of The Alleged Culprits Of The Badami Bagh Incident dismissed

Lahore:LEAD filed the petitions Nos.6609/CB/2013 and 6863/CB/2013 for cancellation of bail in the Lahore High Court,Lahore last year on 4th of June,2013, against the decision of granting bail to the nominated “extremists” in the FIR for torching a Christian neighborhood, Jospeh Colony in Badami Bagh area of Lahore.On behalf of The State a number of petitions for cancellation of bail were also filed in the Lahore High Court.

"All the petitions were dismissed on June,5,2014".

A case of arson attack was registered FIR NO.114/13 under Sections 324, 353,397, 427, 436, 148 and 149,186 A PPC and 7-Anti-Terrorism Act on behalf of the state against 83 nominated and thousands of unidentified extremists in which some were arrested including the names of some influential people, and a large crowd was seen protesting against their arrest outside the Court, just a day after their arrest.

All the accused had been granted bails, as some of them obtained post-arrest bails and on the other hand some were granted pre-arrest bails by Judge Muhammad Islam of Anti-Terrorism Court No. II – Lahore,on 14th May,2013.

On 27 March,2014 the trial court of Mr.Choudhary Ghulam Murtaza additional and session Judge,Lahore announced a judgement in the case of Sawan Masih,accused of blasphemy,case FIR No.112/2013 under section 295 C of PPC."The accused Sawan Masih is hereby convicted under section 295-C PPC and sentenced him to death.He shall be hanged by neck till he be dead.He is also awarded fine Rs.200,000/- in default of payment of fine 6 months S.I."

"Masih is yet beind the bars and he is awaiting for justice",Told Gill. 

On the other hand in the appeal case hearing has been cancelled fifth time on 27 May,2014 again in the case of Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five sentenced to death for blasphemy.The judges avoid the responsibility of deciding what to do with such a delicate case.We have been informed that no one wish to hear this case and no hope to be fixed again before summer vacation.

Since the accusation Bibi is languishing in jail and yet she is in waiting of her appeal decision.The world is minutely observing this case.The judiciary, meanwhile, faces perpetual pressure from the fanatics, a pressure that often jeopardizes the delivery of justice.

A Christian member of the Balochistan Assembly was gunned down by his own security guard in Quetta on Saturday.He was known to take care of a church in Mastung, and would often preach Christian literature.He was also a rights activist and running an NGO.This is a second shock to Christian community of Pakistan after Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination.

Pakistan is not just facing a string of attacks on minorities; it is facing defeat from elements that have successfully destabilized the country and continue to do so. People feel terrorized and are wondering whether they will be next, deliberating whether they should have an exit plan prepared.We appreciate and stand with Government which have now taken step to eradicate the terrorists.We wish to see that Fundamentalist state should be finished , where religious minorities are unsafe .

LEAD is an advocacy and free legal aid Christian faith based organization which request to all Human Rights Organizations to stand with us.We are very much thankful for those who are supporting our human rights work in Pakistan. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Priest's life miraculously saved on the intervention of watchman

Okara: Monday midnight, five armed men entered into the House of Rev.Hanook David,who is the priest of Lahore Diocese Church of Pakistan under the Bishop of Lahore Rt.Rev.Irfan Jamil at Village 2 Chak Bait Ul Ham,and made hostage the Priest and his whole family for four hours.The robbers robbed the priest and forcibly snatched all valuable household things including some gold jewelry.

In the meanwhile,the watchman heard the crying and noise of Children and his wife.The watchman made awaken the whole Christian village and surrounded the priest's house.The other three unknown accomplice of the robbers run away to see the villagers coming towards them.

The robbers opened firing at the villagers and also shooting at Priest and his family but they all miraculously be saved.The Christian villagers competed bravely with the robbers and rescued the hostage family of the priest.

The case FIR No.138/14 was registered at Police Station Chuchak on 3 June,2014 under sections 395/458,412 PPC 13,20/65 AO against the robbers and now in jail.

Today,Rev.Saleem Masih D.S Pattoki along with Rev.Hanook David and Rev.Azmat Nadeem came in the office of LEAD and met with Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD and requested legal assistance in the case.They told that the relatives of the robbers were making threats to burn the whole Christian village as recently they burnt Joseph Colony,Lahore if they would not agree to compromise with them and made released the robbers from jail by giving statement in the favour of the robbers.

"My family is not saved now in that village and I have requested the Rt.Rev.Irfan Jamil Bishop of Lahore to transfer me some other Church congregation",told Rev.Hanook David.
"I have also requested to police for security and also to Bishop of Lahore to give me some security for our safety because now the relatives of robbers are openly making threats to me to face dire consequences if I would not compromise with them.We have seen death very near to us because the robbers opened firing at us but Our Lord Jesus saved us ,"he added further.

"This is Christian village and other Muslim villages are very jealous and prejudice with this village,that's why they often attack on Church and Priest and on other Christian villagers,"told Rev.Saleem.

"I was also appointed priest in this Christian village and same was happened with me and my family,"told Rev.Nadeem.

They said there had been a number of such incidents in the Village, including
 the robbery in 2010 of Rev.Azmat who was tied up by four intruders and
We at LEAD will provide free legal assistance in this case and will stand with Church of Pakistan's Priests in every bad situation or incident.