Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Asia Bibi says she was raped by accusers

Pakistani woman Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, says she was raped at the hands of her accusers.
This is what she told the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who visited Asia in prison two days ago, Fides reports.
Following their conversation, the governor said that the woman “signed an appeal of clemency to President Ali Zardari” and said that she affirms her story, which she will “personally report to the President.”
Bibi says she is innocent, but groups of Islamic fundamentalists have already threatened to kill her if she goes free, Fides says.
Meanwhile, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said he intends to issue a pardon for Bibi, Radio Vatican adds.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has also appealed for her release.
Speaking to Vatican Radio Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha of Lahore says Bibi’s case highlights “how dangerous (Pakistan’s blasphemy) laws are and how from something so small, such as an argument between a group of women, something so serious can take place”.
The Archbishop adds that the infamous blasphemy laws target all civil society as a whole; “since they were first introduced over 1000 cases have been reported"
However he adds, “there can be no comparison in how they affect the minorities. For example when a Christian is accused of blasphemy then his or her family and the entire Christian community often pay the consequences”, which can come in the form of discrimination, persecution and even violence.
Instead “when a Muslim is accused of blasphemy then he or she as an individual pays and no one else”.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Islamic cleric in Pakistan offers $5,800 reward to anyone who kills Christian woman accused of blasphemy

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A hardline, pro-Taliban Pakistani Muslim cleric Friday offered a reward for anyone who kills a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court on charges of insulting Islam.
The sentence against Asia Bibi has renewed debate about Pakistan's blasphemy law which critics say is used to persecute religious minorities, fan religious extremism and settle personal scores. Non-Muslim minorities account roughly 4 percent of Pakistan's about 170 million population.
Maulana Yousef Qureshi, the imam of a major mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, offered a $5,800 (3,700 pounds) reward and warned the government against any move to abolish or change the blasphemy law.
"We will strongly resist any attempt to repeal laws which provide protection to the sanctity of Holy Prophet Mohammad," Qureshi told a rally of hardline Islamists.
"Anyone who kills Asia will be given 500,000 rupees in reward from Masjid Mohabat Khan," he said referring to his mosque.
While Qureshi is not believed to have a wide following, comments by clerics can provoke a violent response and complicate government efforts to combat religious extremism and militancy.
Qureshi, cleric who has been leading congregation at the 17th century Mohabat Khan mosque for decades, later told Reuters he was determined to see her killed.
"We expect her to be hanged and if she is not hanged then we will ask mujahideen and Taliban to kill her."...
Everyone Please pray for Asia Bibi, also do not forget Hector Aleem Chairman of Peace Worldwide who is in jail due to same charges. Hector Aleem is not convicted, please pray for his release.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blasphemy Tension Rising in Pakistan

Pakistan is very famous due to an infamous law known as Blasphemy law. This Law is mostly used to trap Christians, and after trapping them they are given death sentence. This charge carries death penalty, in this law there is no evidence required. The Court does not accept any evidence which favors the accused. The trial is always one sided and the Court always gives decision against the accused. Asia Bibi who used to live in a small village of Pakistan was arrested due to that Blasphemy offence. She was wrongly accused due to personal grudge by a group of Muslim women in the village. She has been jailed for 18 months and was sentenced Nov. 8 to hang for insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammed. Governor of Punjab Mr. Salman Taseer met Asia Bibi in jail and said that he will personally forward the request of freeing Asia Bibi to President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. Her lawyer has filed an appeal with the Lahore High Court, and President Asif Ali Zardari has decided to let the appeal process play out instead of immediately pardoning her. Pardoning Asia Bibi can be very dangerous for President Asif Ali Zardari as there are many demonstrations being held in Pakistan. Governor of Punjab Slaman Taseer said that this Blasphemy law is always used wrongly and it is a black law. But due to this statement of Salman Taseer there are many protests against him outside the Governor house. Muslims are saying that he is also a blasphemer and he must be hanged too along with Asia Bibi. About 100 Muslim demonstrators rallied Thursday in the central city of Multan, warning against any presidential pardon for Bibi and burning an effigy of the Punjab provincial governor who has supported her appeal. There are some members of Parliament of Pakistan who are thinking about amending the blasphemy law. "We will resist if the government moves against the court verdict and attempts to amend the blasphemy law," warned Tariq Naeemullah, a leader of Citizen Front of Multan.
In this situation there is no one in Pakistan with Asia Bibi except for governor of Punjab Salman Taseer, few members of parliament and Pakistani Christians. But there are many in Pakistan who are against Asia Bibi, there will be a huge protest on 26th of November and there is a very strong possibility that this protest will be violent and other Christians in Pakistan will suffer from that protest. Not only Pakistani Muslim Public but almost everyone from government of Pakistan is against Asia Bibi.

“If Asia Bibi is released then there will be strong consequences.” Warned Head of Pakistan Muslim League Party (Q) Ch. Shujat Ahmed.

“Asia Bibi Should be hanged till death” said female politicians of Pakistan

“Asia Bibi is in jail and will remain in jail until she is hanged” said superintendent of Central Jail Sheikupura Pakistan.

Dozens of Christians held their own protest in the southern city of Karachi, carrying a large crucifix and placards reading "Down with Black Law" and "Stop Discrimination against Religious Minorities." Pakistan's higher courts have always struck down lower courts' death penalties in past blasphemy cases. Still, many who are falsely accused are unjustly jailed for months and often targeted by violence. Two Christian brothers (one of them was a Pastor) in Punjab were gunned down earlier this year as they were leaving a court hearing on a blasphemy charge. Hector Aleem who is a Human Rights Activist in Pakistan was also accused wrongly due to that Blasphemy law on January 2009. There were some extremists who first destroyed a Church and when Hector Aleem raised the voice for that Church then they accused him falsely to back him off. Peace Worldwide is currently not in working situation because the Chairman of Peace Worldwide Mr. Hector Aleem is in jail due that false Blasphemy case. We are sure that if Hector Aleem was out and Peace Worldwide was in working condition then we would have done a lot for Asia Bibi and she would have been released by now. Because Peace Worldwide not just posts news and photos of victims, we actually help the victims. PWW is not like other organizations, we are not afraid of anyone and we can do anything to help the victims. Why anyone from any organization is not jailed or hurt? Because these organizations do not work for Human Rights but for themselves. Hector Aleem is still in jail, its time for all of us to act for Hector Aleem. Please do not wait for the same thing to happen to Hector Aleem. Its time to act for the victims of Blasphemy, also please keep praying for Hector Aleem and Asia Bibi. Write to Government Officials of Pakistan and your Country about Hector Aleem and Asia Bibi. Remember all victims of Blasphemy in your prayers. Also check out this video in which Mullahs are gathered outside the Court of Hector Aleem. They are chanting slogans against Hector Aleem and Christianity. 

Here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwmj9muo3ys

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Christian Brothers illegally Charged with Blasphemy in Faisalabad - Pakistan

Mr. Rashid Emmanuel, 32, is a pastor. On the evening of 2 July he received a telephone call from a man who claimed to be from the La Salle School, a prominent Christian educational centre. He asked to meet Mr. Rashid about an urgent matter at Zilla Council chowk (crossroads) in Faisalabad. When Rashid arrived later that evening he saw four persons standing in the dark; before ten uniformed police officers reportedly emerged and arrested him.

He was taken to the Civil Lines Police Station nearby and shown a photocopy of a four-page handwritten pamphlet that criticized Islam and its last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). The pamphlet appeared to be signed by Rashid and his younger brother Sajid Emmanuel, and instructed the reader to contact them for further information. It featured their cell phone numbers and national identity card numbers.

The police detained Rashid and released a boy who they had mistakenly thought to be Rashid's brother. The blasphemy complaint was filed by Mr. Mohammad Khurram Shehzad, a printer who reportedly declared that his assistant had seen a man distributing the pamphlets at Lari Adda, the city’s main bus terminus, on 1 July. Based on this information the police filed a First Information Report (FIR), a legal document for case proceeding in the court).

However the blasphemy law was amended in 2004 specifically to avoid its abuse via baseless charges. As details below the blasphemy charge can still be met with the death penalty, yet it often arises amid neighbourhood vendettas. Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPP) now states that no case of blasphemy can be filed without the investigation of the superintendent of police.

A representative of the Christian community – Mr. Atif Jamil Pagan, the Chief of Pakistan Minorities Democratic Harmony Foundation – contacted the police and was told by the SHO that a sub inspector and an assistant superintendent had been chosen for the investigation; he allegedly acknowledged that they were not complying with section 295C of the PPC because they were under pressure from extremist Muslim groups in the community. The sub inspector, a Mr. Mohammad Hessian, later told Atif that the accused was being detained without evidence against him because the case was a sensitive one.

On 3 July we are told that the police took Rashid to the Anti Terrorist Court (ATC) for police remand, where the case was correctly refused. Religious matters are no longer under the authority of the ATC, as maintained in clause 780 of the Anti Terrorist Act (ATA) 1997. Rashid was taken to a duty magistrate in the Civil Lines jurisdiction, who agreed to his two-day remand in police custody, despite the breach of procedure.

We are told that during this time the sub inspector summoned Atif Pagan to the police station and asked that he produce Rashid’s young brother. For his protection, Pagan arranged for Sajid to be handed to the police in the presence of Bishop Joseph Couetts of Faisalabad. The police then asked the brothers to handwrite each pamphlets three times. On 7 July the writing samples were sent to experts in Lahore, around 200km from Faisalabad, but the experts reportedly replied that they could not work from the photocopied pamphlets.

During this time groups of organized Muslim activists started to rally against the brothers in public: we are told that the loudspeakers from a number of mosques were used illegally to do so, and to incite violence against local Christians (in breach, as noted below, of Section 3 of the Loud Speaker Act 1965). On 7 July a procession in Warispura saw local Muslim residents chanting threatening slogans against Christians; one chant called for the hanging of Rashid and Sajid, and we are informed that the mob attacked a Catholic Church, breaking its windows and doors. On 10 July persons in another procession burnt tires on the streets; a call went up declaring that Christians would not be allowed to live in Warispura. At 1am that night a procession of motorbikes took place, with riders allegedly harassing Christians who were leaving their homes with their belongings. The protestors announced that a meeting would be held at Ghanta Chowk on 11 July, a central gathering place for su ch rallies.

We are told that the police began efforts to address the protestors on the evening of 10 July, and that after a number of meetings it was agreed that the rallies and threats should stop.
However protest gatherings continued on 11 July, and united into a large meeting at noon, at which Muslim leaders from various religious political parties, among them Khatme-e-Nabowat, Jamiat Ulema-ePakistan and Namoos-e-Risalat reportedly reiterated death threats against the brothers, because the government had not sentenced them to death. We are told that among the speakers were Sahibzada Abulkhair Mahumed Zubair and Syed Hidayat Hussain Shah, who are known for inciting violence in the area. At the meeting it was announced that a set of gallows had been set up at the tower of Ghanta Ghar (in the centre of Faisalabad), in preparation for the hanging of blasphemous Christians.

We are told that the brothers remain in detention at the police station without adequate protection against mob violence. There are strong fears that they could be attacked. The men have reported that co-detainees are also threatening them. Immediate action must be taken to remove them from danger, provide strong state protection, take up their case according to the laws and procedures of the country, and quell the rising tide of violence against the Christian community.


Almost a year ago six Christians, two of them women, were set alight and burned to death under similar circumstances just 50km away in Korian village, Tehsil Gojra, as reported in urgent appeal: A human rights activist faces terrorism charges for publicising the murder of Christians, while the mullahs who encouraged the violence remain free and mentioned again in:Newspaper advertisements call for the murder of a human rights lawyer in Punjab; police silently spectate. Houses were also set on fire. The Christian community in Wasapura is extremely concerned that a similar attack could be planned around the anniversary of the Gojra violence, on 31 July. With such incidents already proven to be possible, it is imperative that these concerns are acted on, and the greatest efforts are taken by the administration to protect these Pakistanis from potent ial attack, and reassure them of their security and their rights.

Religious minority groups in Pakistan remain vulnerable due to the continued use and abuse of blasphemy charges, despite section 295C of the PPC. This must be strongly implemented if minorities are to be protected. Police who fail to follow the code and who operate under the directive of extremists in the community must face strong legal action. Charges of blasphemy are still met with the death penalty in Pakistan, and desecrating the Quran carries a life sentence.

The AHRC is also aware of several recent cases in which mosques have used loud speakers to provoke anger against religious minorities. Section 3 of Loud Speaker Act 1965 bans all types of speeches other than Azan (the call to prayer) and the Friday sermon in Arabic. Charges must be taken against those who allow the mosques to be used illegally to incite violence.


Please write letters to the authorities to remind them of their immediate responsibility to protect a threatened population of Christians in Faisalabad, Punjab province, and to urge immediate legal action against those inciting violence against them.

Friday, April 30, 2010

History Of Peace Worldwide

Peace worldwide was established in 1996. It is a Christian organization working for human rights since 1996 without any discrimination but as a human rights activist Mr. Hector has faced many problems. His residence was looted in Karachi he then left Karachi with his family and shifted to Islamabad here he again started his work and established school for in which most of the students were Muslims. Then the Islamists attacked him in school and tried to kill him. Then he was again attacked by Muslim leaders they wanted to involve him in 295 BC, In this attack his leg was fractured. He also received a threat letter from an unknown person in which he wrote that Hector is working for America and he is an American agent and they will kill him and make his wife and daughters Muslim. Then on 3rd of August 2004 a false case was registered against Mr. Hector for which he spent three months in prison and during this period the fundamentalists closed his school permanently and destroyed his office. Mr. Hector started his work once again. But again the fundamentalists tried to trap him because he was handling the church destroying case. Now they trapped him in blasphemy case because it is impossible to come out of jail in blasphemy offence. I want all of you to pressurize the government because the government is now not giving any response they are now saying that the blasphemy offence has finished and now other cases have opened.

  • Why other cases have opened? So that he cannot come out?
  • Why is he being tortured without any offence?
  • The mullahs are not letting him out. And now the government is in pressure of the mullahs.
  • If the government is in pressure of mullahs then how Hector can be saved? They could kill him during the investigation in lockup.
  • Why other FIRs are lodging against him while he is in police custody?
  • Are we living in the civilized world?
  • Are Christian leaders safe in Pakistan?
  • If Christian leaders are not safe then how can the public be safe?
  • Why national, international human rights organizations and Christian organizations silent?

Hector has served poor and oppressed people of Pakistan during his work. I want all of you to pray for him. And pressurize the government to release him and assure the safety of his and his family’s life.