New cases of persecution of Christian women in Pakistan’s Punjab

October 28, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Asia BibiPakistan, October 27, 2015: In Pakistan’s Punjab province, a Christian woman suffers gang rape, while another was set on fire and nearly burned to death after she refused to marry her former boyfriend. A few weeks ago, another Christian woman was abducted and forced to marry a Muslim man.

The mistreatment of women and religious minorities in Pakistan continue to be the biggest human rights concern in the nation.

A Christian woman in a village in the district of Kasur was raped by three Muslim men who intruded into her home, when the men in the family were out at work. The family has made a police complaint and asked for the help of lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a Christian.

“It is not easy to find and punish these sort of delinquents. Very often in cases like this the police do little or worse side with the criminals”, the lawyer told Fides. “Christian families or witnesses are pressured to withdraw the charges”, he continues. “Violence against the women and children of religious minorities, the weakest and most vulnerable of persons, is widespread in Pakistan and often passes unaddressed: many cases and stories never come to light and activists who dare to speak out suffer intimidation.

AFP reported last week that 20-year-old Sonia Bibi was nearly burned to death by her disgruntled ex-boyfriend, Latif Ahmed, in the town of Multan.

After Ahmed asked Bibi to marry him and she refused his proposal, Ahmed poured gasoline on Bibi and set her ablaze. Bibi, who suffered 50% burns, is expected to survive.

Local police representative Jamshid Hayat told AFP that Ahmed has been taken into police custody and a preliminary investigation has been launched.

In a third case, Nabila Bibi, a Christian woman, was kidnapped by a Muslim man named Allah Rakha earlier in October in the Changa Manga area of the Punjab province.

Bibi was set to marry her Christian fiance, Sajid Masih, in November. Bibi’s father, Bashir Masih, and other family members searched for her and later filed a complaint with the local police.

The Pakistan Christian Post reports that on Oct. 16, Muslim men went to her father’s home and told him that his daughter had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. They showed him some documents as proof of her conversion and marriage.

On Oct 22, Bibi’s fiance, his cousins, and Bibi’s father went to Rakha’s home and demanded to see Bibi. They were denied permission and also threatened. When they refused to leave,they were locked up inside Rakha’s mansion. They managed to escape next morning. But later, some Muslim men went to Bibi’s father’s home and found the whereabouts of Bibi’s fianc� Sajid Masih. Sajid fled from his home before the men arrived and is now in hiding.

– ucan

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