19 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/21/2006
PAKISTAN
Government silent as blasphemy law continues to kill, say Pakistani bishops
In a statement released by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Pakistan the government's negligence vis-à-vis crimes committed in the name of religion and on the basis of blasphemy laws is described as a "real sin".

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Pakistan has expressed "profound concern" for the evident negligence by the authorities and elected officials who should uphold the law regarding the growing intolerance associated with blasphemy laws.

Fr Emmanuel Yousaf and Peter Jacob, respectively director and executive secretary of the bishops' commission, said in a joint statement that "the horrible murder of Mohammad Sadiq, an elderly school teacher killed last Sunday whilst trying to save someone else from the blasphemy laws, and that of Abdul Sattar, who was killed the next day when he was under police protection, underscore the alarming level of insecurity Pakistani citizens feel as a result of the abuse of religion".

"It is extremely sad that two other lives were sacrificed owing to a legislative void created by the blasphemy laws," the added.

"In the first case we have a respected citizen killed by the people of Hasilpur whilst trying to rescue from a lynch mob the imam of the local mosque, Hafiz Mohammad Qamar, who was being tortured by some miscreants."

"In the second," the statement reads, "we have a man who gets himself killed for allegedly insulting the prophet when in fact all he wanted was a driver to pay his fee."

The so-called blasphemy law or laws refer to article 295, sections B and C, of the Pakistan Criminal Code. The first section covers offences against the Qur'an, a crime punishable with life in prison. The second section imposes either the death penalty or life in prison on anyone found guilty of defaming the Prophet Muhammad.

Since 1996 when the two sections came into effect, a lot of Christians have been killed for defaming Islam. Altogether some 560 people have been charged with 30 still waiting for trial.

Very often the law is used to eliminate adversaries.

According to data provided by different human rights groups, 23 people have died as a result of blasphemy charges, 18 of whom were Muslim. In each case law enforcement authorities did not intervene to stop the murder.

"It is a real sin that the government has allowed this kind of 'unlawful legality' to exist in name of religion, abdicating its duty to tell the people how often the law is misused," the statement said.

"It is important that those guilty of these crimes be brought to justice. For this reason, we call for an immediate inquiry to unmask those responsible for this situation."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/05/2008 PAKISTAN
Church launches workshop in Lahore to train for peace
by Qaiser Felix
06/05/2008 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Church urges government to uphold the constitution against extremism
by Qaiser Felix
01/23/2008 PAKISTAN
New communications law, new tool for censorship
by Qaiser Felix
08/10/2005 PAKISTAN
Christian charged with blasphemy released
by Qaiser Felix
04/27/2007 PAKISTAN
Mob and police torture Catholic man accused of blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.