Faisalabad Christian family beaten up for defending their rights
by Shafique Khokhar

In a village, when a Christian pupil went back to school after having a fever, she was met with discrimination and violence. For human rights activist Manzoor Anthony, “We minorities live in insecurity; we must be given full rights”.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – A Christian family in Sumanduri Dajcot, a village near Faisalabad, was beaten up for defending their rights.

About twenty people beat the family’s men, women and children, even a child in a wheelchair. They ripped off the women's clothes and tried to pressured them to withdraw a report they filed with police.

It all started earlier this week when Sonia, a Christian girl, went back to school after she had a fever. As soon as she stepped inside the school, fellow pupils started insulting her as sweeper’s daughter, saying that they would kick her out.

When the girl turned to her teacher, a Muslim, she was told that it was her problem. And if that was not enough, the teacher caned her for not coming to school for two days. Her beating was so brutal that it broke a finger.

When the girl's aunt protested, the teacher reacted violently. A few hours later, the whole family was attacked at home.

Sonia's father, Shakeel Masih, told AsiaNews that while they were being beaten up, the attackers called them “dirty Christians”.

Eventually, he filed a report with police citing the names of the attackers, but no one has been arrested so far.

Manzoor Anthony, a human rights activist from Faisalabad and coordinator of the Minority Caucus group, called on the authorities to bring justice and protection to this family.

He also appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying: “We minorities live in insecurity; we must be given full rights in Pakistan so that we may live in peace.”