24 May, 2015 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


» 07/19/2010
PAKISTAN
On trial for blasphemy, two Christian brothers murdered in Faisalabad
by Fareed Khan
Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Masih Emmanuel were shot to death outside the courthouse right after a trial hearing. Both were handcuffed on their way back to prison. Police were going to clear them of the accusations. For days, Muslim religious leaders had incited Muslim faithful against the two, calling for their death.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Gunmen shot to death Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Masih Emmanuel, two Christian brothers on trial for blasphemy, as they left court in Faisalabad city (Punjab). The men were handcuffed together when the attack took place; they were on their way back to prison after their court appearance.

When they were arrested on 2 July, the Christian community sounded the alarm bell, fearing possible attacks. Immediately right after their arrest, Muslims organised a protest demonstration, calling for the two Christian brothers to be put to death.

The brothers were killed by two gunmen outside the Faisalabad courthouse, where they had been taken for a hearing. They were an easy target for an execution-style assassination since they were shackled together. A police officer accompanying the two victims was also wounded. The killers escaped.

For several days, Muslim religious leaders in Faisalabad had been fanning the flame of hatred against the two brothers, calling for their death. The two were arrested less than a month ago after leaflets allegedly bearing their names and featuring derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad were found around town.

Local sources said that police were going to clear them because an analysis of the hand-written leaflets  showed that the two brothers were not the authors.

For Pakistani Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the accusations against the Christians were fabricated by people who had a grudge against them. One of the two brothers was a Protestant clergyman. Their families maintained their innocence all along.

Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan, slammed the crime without mincing his words. He called the death of the two brothers, plain and simple murder, on allegations of blasphemy. He also renewed a call for the repeal of the law, stressing the “deep concern” of Pakistan’s Christian community. He also criticised the government for doing little to stop the abuses of the law.

Last week, many Christian families fled Faisalabad’s Waris Pura neighbourhood, where the incident allegedly occurred, for fear of violence. On 15 July, Muslim protesters marched through the city calling for the death of the two brothers. The next day, at the end of Friday prayers, Muslim religious leaders egged on the Muslim faithful to demonstrate against the Christians. During the demonstration, the Holy Rosary Catholic Church was attacked with stones and rocks.

The murder of the two brothers, whose arrest had shocked the Christian world, coincides with a visit to Pakistan by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/17/2012 PAKISTAN
Rimsha Masih's trial adjourned to 14 November as anti-Christian violence continues
10/12/2004 PAKISTAN
Violence against the mentally disabled accused of blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
06/23/2011 PAKISTAN
Doubts and surprise among Christians over the first arrest in the Shahbaz Bhatti murder case
by Jibran Khan
01/11/2006 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy charge against Sangla Hill Christian withdrawn
by Peter Jacob
02/22/2006 PAKISTAN
Sangla Hill Christian accused of blasphemy released

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

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.