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» 06/23/2011
PAKISTAN
Islamabad: first (odd) arrest for the murder of Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti
On 19 June police detained Hafiz Nazar Muhammad, and he will remain in jail until 25 for interrogation. The man is accused of involvement in the assassination of Minister for Religious Minorities. Bhatti's home village a documentary on the life of the "martyr".

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Islamabad police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the murder of federal minister for religious minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, who was assassinated last March 2. The police are interrogating Hafiz Nazar Muhammad, traced through mobile phone mapping. The suspect was arrested last June 19, imprisoned in the barracks I-9 Islamabad and charged under Article 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The custody will be extended until June 25 for further investigation, although at present there is no evidence or testimony to confirm his involvement.

A Rawalpindi court judge has granted for five days of detention to allow police to question the suspect about possible accomplices. Nazar apparently phoned a lawyer belonging to religious minorities - Sargohda Tahir Chaudhry Nazeer – and confided that he knows the killers of Shahbaz Bhatti. Intercepted the call triggered his arrest.

According to the police reconstruction, which raises many concerns and questions, Nazar qas a close collaborator of the Catholic lawyer’s for at least 10 years. Police sources, reports The Express Tribune also add that the prisoner claims to be a Christian pastor and had unresolved personal issues against Bhatti.

Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Catholic minister in the executive of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani, was killed March 2 last year in Islamabad. In the assault against his car - unprotected and without bodyguards - 30 rounds of gunfire were fired. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, because of his positions against the law on blasphemy and for having championed the cause of Asia Bibi, a 45 year old Christian mother of five children on death charged under the "black law". In early January, Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab was "executed" for the same reasons.

A few days ago 43 minute documentary on the life and work of the former Catholic minister, entitled: "A tribute to the martyr Shahbaz Bhatti", was released. The film was produced by Shadow Organization (http://shadoworganization.blogspot.com ) and presented in the Church of St. Fedelius in Khushpur, village in the district of Faisalabad (Punjab), where the late minister was born.

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See also
03/02/2011 PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani minister who defended Asia Bibi, is assassinated
by Jibran Khan
03/30/2011 PAKISTAN
Shahbaz Batthi killed by a "mafia" of fundamentalists holding the government hostage
by Fareed Khan
11/29/2010 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi fears for her life, while awaiting a government decision
by Jibran Khan
02/28/2012 PAKISTAN
Paul Bhatti: minority social reawakening in the name of Shabbaz
by Dario Salvi
03/25/2011 PAKISTAN
Paul Bhatti, brother of the murdered minister is "special adviser" to Prime Minister on Minorities

Editor's choices
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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