» 11/14/2006, 00.00
Sangla Hill tragedy: victims speak out a year later
AsiaNews is back in the Punjabi village on the first anniversary of the violent attack against local Christians to listen to victims speak out. Still traumatised, they live in fear. The man accused of blasphemy was eventually cleared but he, too, still has to live in hiding. A year on the police has failed to apprehend the real culprits. Homes and churches destroyed by fire are still waiting to be rebuilt amid government inaction and some Christian leaders' ambiguity.
Islamic extremists still unpunished 40 days after the Sangla Hill attack
Protesters announce a hunger strike "till death" beginning on the first day of the new year if the government continues to ignore the situation. Local religieuse says her school's mission continues: to teach children that love defeats extremism.
A 15-year-old Christian boy is abducted and killed, possibly by organ traffickers
Two Muslim men from Nankanna admit kidnapping and killing the Christian boy, but his body has not been found even where the self-confessed murderers said they dumped him. Like others who have disappeared, Francis Nadeem is being used to get organs to sell to the rich, says the family.
Hunger strike for peace in Sangla Hill
It is a protest against the government's cold shoulder towards Christians victimised by Islamic extremism, says the Archbishop of Lahore. There is hope though that the new year will be better for Pakistan's religious minorities.
Punjab Christians urge government to visit their destroyed churches
The AsiaNews correspondent in Sangla Hill has gathered witness accounts and precise accusations from the Christian community there, which saw churches, convents and schools burned down and looted. "Blasphemy has nothing to do with it," they say. "It's all about persecution." Torture at the police headquarters was reported. (Photos were taken by our correspondent: the Christian community of Sangla Hill and their destroyed property).
Anti-Christian attacks “premeditated”, says archbishop of Lahore
Mgr Saldanha calls for more decisive government action to protect the Christian minority, forced to “defend itself alone”. He launches an appeal “to protect the Christians of Pakistan.” Christian leaders shut down all Christian schools and institutions to protest the violence. The Pope sends a telegram for the victims.
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