19 April, 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


» 05/09/2011
PAKISTAN
Young, mentally ill Christian man arrested for blasphemy in Punjab
Babar Masih, 25, allegedly used abusive language in regards to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim religious leaders allegedly put pressures on people to make “false statements” about him. Police arrested him to prevent him from being lynched. The young man’s family has had to flee for fear of reprisals.

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy law strikes the country’s Christian community again. This time, police in Chichawatni, Sahiwal District, Punjab, charged and arrested a mentally ill Christian man “for offending the religious sentiments” of Muslims. They also saved him from a mob bent on carrying out summary justice. Babar Masih, 25, allegedly used abusive language in regards to the Prophet Muhammad. Three of his relatives have already fled their home after receiving serious threats. The Masihs where the only Christians living in the area and are now in hiding for fear of reprisals at the hands of Muslim extremists.

Police opened an investigation against the mentally ill Babar Masih on the basis of the ‘black law’. On 2 May, they arrested him for making blasphemous remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. Local Christian sources said that the young man’s own family alerted police who arrested him in secret.

A mob of angry Muslims had gathered near the Masih family home. The other members of the family feared he might be summarily executed. Indeed, Muslim extremists had demanded the mentally ill man be handed over to them so that justice could be done. Thanks to the police, Babar was spirited away. In the meantime, his family found shelter in a secret hideout.

Babar’s brother Amjad said that some local Muslim religious leaders had pressured people to bear false witness against him. His mental status is widely known, and in the past, he has had fits of unmotivated anger during which he has used offensive language. He is also known for not eating or dressing properly. He was, in other words, an “easy target” for preposterous accusations based on the infamous blasphemy law.

Christian leaders in the province have tried to mediate with the local imam trying to find a way to have the charges withdrawn. However, extremists have no intention to do that.

Despite complaints from the international community about abuses, the ‘black law’ appears to be on the verge of taking another victim from the Christian minority.

Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, a Muslim, and Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, were assassinated in cold blood earlier this year because they sought changes if not the repeal of the law.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/03/2012 PAKISTAN
Punjab: 22-year-old mentally disturbed Christian man dies in prison
by Jibran Khan
01/22/2007 PAKISTAN
Christian charged with blasphemy freed after two years
by Qaiser Felix
11/29/2006 PAKISTAN
Naseem Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, free after nine months
by Qaiser Felix
09/19/2006 PAKISTAN
Young Christian arrested for blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
12/06/2011 PAKISTAN
Lahore, false accusation of blasphemy against a Christian. Fears for his life
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

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.