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24 May 2011

Pakistan: Christian women manhandled, pressure over land and daily persecution

00002.jpgIslamabad: May 2011. (Xavier William, Modern Tokyo Times) Pakistan, two more shocking cases have surfaced in Punjab which is the hub of extremism and hatred towards the Christian community. Two Christian women, Nusrat Bibi and Muneeran Bibi, are female sanitary workers at the Fatima Memorial Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan.

A source from the Fatima Memorial hospital said that Nusrat Bibi and Muneeran Bibi were assaulted and unlawfully detained for several hours by a Muslim officer at the medical facility.

First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against the medical officer at the Ichchra Police Station, Lahore.

According to the sources, the man allegedly snatched a cellphone from Nusrat Bibi and money from Muneeran Bibi, when the women resisted, he began assaulting Muneeran Bibi. Then Nusrat Bibi was slapped and attacked with a wooden stick which the alleged attacker had pulled out from a stand placed in his room. He also tore up her shirt when she raised an objection to their physical search.“They were kept in illegal detention for about 9 hours,” said the source.

According to the hospital administration, Nusrat Bibi and Muneeran Bibi were allegedly accused of theft, but nothing was recovered from them.

Activist from Life for All, Mr. Rizwan Paul said, “This is indeed a brutal act, the victims must be provided justice, and the accused must pay for the inhuman act. Both women are sanitary workers, but they are human beings as well, they are not animals. They had said that they had not stolen anything, then why weren’t they trusted? Because they are Christians, just because they are Christians, they were subjected so brutally. We strongly condemn the act and demand that the authorities take immediate action.”

Another disturbing case took place in Jalal Pur Jattan, a town located in the Gujarat District of Punjab. Allegedly a Muslim group on the behest of a former MPA (Member Provincial Assembly) invaded two Christian houses in the city.

Father Naveed Dominic an activist from Jalal Pur Jatta said, “The local former MPA had his eyes on the agricultural land in the heart of Jalal Pur Jatta. This land belongs to local Christians and they had been receiving threats from various groups to vacate the land, but they didn’t.”

The group threw out the belongings and physically assaulted the women present in the houses. The locals contacted the police, but they refused to get involved.

Father Dominic further said “The Church is also being pressurized not to get involved in the matter, the authorities have kept a deaf ear to the situation. The hatred towards the Christian community and the growing cases of persecution has been reported to the authorities……. but the authorities don’t seem to take an interest.”




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