» 07/05/2012, 00.00
Punjab: Muslim extremists burn alive a mentally disabled man accused of blasphemy
The man, whose names is still unknown, was detained at the police Chani Goth station, in Bahawalpur. A mob, incited by local religious leaders, dragged him from his cell, doused him with petrol and set him on fire. In the raid police vehicles burned and four officers beaten. Bishop of Islamabad: it's time to introduce some changes to the law.
(AsiaNews) - A mob of Muslim extremists, incited by local religious leaders, last
July 3 raided in a prison in Bahawalpur (Punjab) dragging a man from his cell. The
assailants poured gasoline on him and set him on fire, because previously it
was rumored that he was guilty of blasphemy. The
prison officers were unable to contain the attack of the fanatics, four
policemen were injured and several are now hospitalized in the prison. Currently
there is little information on the generality of man, burned alive with inhuman
brutality, who died as a result of serious injuries. From
preliminary reports it appears that he had mental problems and had been thrown
into a cell, while the investigators looked into the alleged violation of the "black
rumors that he had burned the Koran spread rapidly triggering the reaction of
the fundamentalists and yet another extrajudicial killing over an alleged case
deputy-inspector of the district of Bahawalpur tells the story to AsiaNews. The
Chani Goth police station, said the official, received a complaint that a man
"burned pages of the Koran." The agents arrested
him and put him into a cell. Meanwhile,
some religious leaders "announced through loudspeakers that a person had
committed blasphemy against Islam". Thus,
a crowd gathered outside the prison demanding the surrender of the alleged
even blocked the main road" he continues, then "they ripped open the
door and attacked the officers: I also suffered injuries in the assault."
they had any information on the man - who is still unknown - or having ascertain
his mental health status and the alleged blasphemy case, the crowd doused him
in gasoline and set him on fire (pictured, a time of the fire). The
deputy inspector emphasized that extremists set fire to some vehicles parked
inside the police and "the assault continued for over two hours,"
until "the man was not completely burned."
body will be autopsied and investigators are awaiting the results to try to
give him an identity, so far no one has claimed the body, or reported family
members missing. Meanwhile,
human rights organizations and activists, including Masihi Foundation Pakistan and Life
for All, denounced the latest extra-judicial murder based on a rumor of
points the finger at the police, unable to guarantee the safety of those
arrested and to contain the madness of extremist groups, which often act driven
by local religious leaders.
Catholic Diocese of Bahawalpur express a firm condemnation of the episiodo: Fr.
Samuel speaks of an "inhumane act" and hopes the introduction of
initiatives "aimed at creating greater awareness about the cases of
blasphemy and associated laws." He
is echoed by the Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, according to whom "taking
the law into your own hands is not applying the law." It
is time to "introduce some changes in legislation," added Bishop. Rufin
Anthony, and to introduce laws that "protect the innocent and give security
to the persons accused and on trial." "How
much blood must still be shed - he ends - before the authorities understand
that it is time for change."
the mind of the Christian community turns to Asia Bibi, the 46 year-old mother
of five children, sentenced to death in November 2010 under the "black
law" and now waiting for her appeal trail, locked in solitary confinement
in Sheikhupura women's prison (in Punjab). For
her release have also mobilized the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer and Shahbaz
Bhatti, Minister for Religious Minorities: both were murdered last year, at the
hands of Islamic extremists. Pope
Benedict XVI launched an appeal for the liberation of Asia Bibi, tried
physically and morally by long imprisonment.
blasphemy laws in the last 20 years have resulted in attacks against entire
communities, as occurred in Shantinagar and Multan (1997), or in the recent
past in Gojra (2009), with deaths and dozens of homes burned. According
to data from the National Commission for
Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church (NCJP), from 1986 to August 2009
at least 964 people were charged with desecrating the Koran or defaming the
Prophet Muhammad. Among
these 479 were Muslims, 119 Christians, 340 Ahmadis, 14 Hindus and 10 from
other religions. It
also provides a pretext for attacks, personal vendettas or extra-judicial
killings: about 35 so far, made by individuals or mobs as in this case.
Gujrat: imprisoned for blasphemy, four Christians risk their lives. Government: No protection
The Christian community, Catholic and Protestant, is ready to take to the streets in defense of pastor Aftab Gill and three others. The court has ignored their appeal and there is a strong risk of extrajudicial killing. They are in jail following a new case of abuse of the "black law". Muslim lawyer: innocent victims of a distorted system
Christian women attacked, publicly humiliated in Lahore based on false blasphemy accusations
Victims are now in a safe place because of the danger of more violence. A mob of angry Muslims beat and humiliated the two women, who are mother and daughter. The incident was triggered by a domestic dispute between them and the Muslim wife of their son and brother. A Pakistani priest says that unless there is separation between state and religion, Pakistan will slide into civil war.
Pakistan government, a disappointment in fight against fundamentalism, says Justice and Peace
NCJP executive secretary complains about government inaction, which is causing suffering to people. Human rights and full religious freedom are necessary conditions to “guarantee peace in the country”. Prime minister says he will not change blasphemy law. PML-Q leader says government policies are like those of dictator Zia-ul-Haq.
Punjab: Asia Bibi to move to a women’s prison in Multan
The transfer should occur within seven days. The step has become necessary to protect the life of the 45-year-old Christian mother of five because of death threats from Muslim fundamentalists. A Pakistani priest hopes the transfer will be done secretly to ensure maximum security. AsiaNews’ campaign on Bibi’s behalf has reached 8,700 signatures.
Asia Bibi fears for her life, while awaiting a government decision
Islamic radicals still on a war footing against the possibility of a pardon for the woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. The Taliban announces that they will oppose it in every way, and the leader of the Sunni council threatens "anarchy in the country." Her husband: "Asia Bibi fears for her family."
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
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