05/02/2023, 15.26
Send to a friend

In Faisalabad, Christian father killed after his kidnapped daughter’s release

by Shafique Khokhar

According to human rights defenders, the victim was murdered out of revenge. In late March, Basharat Masih succeeded in bringing his 12-year-old Hoorab home, three months after she was kidnapped by two Muslims who forcibly converted her to Islam.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Basharat Masih, a Christian father who had fought for the release of his 12-year-old daughter Hoorab, was killed in Pakistan over a week ago.

A court in Faisalabad (Punjab) freed the girl, who had been kidnapped in December and forced to convert to Islam; her father, however, received death threats both during and after the court case.

Basharat’s sister, Maryam Bibi, filed a First Information Report (FIR) at the Nishatabad police station to report an attack on 24 April against her brother during which he was killed.

She said that he was taking part in a pigeon-flying competition; when she heard screaming, she rushed into the street and saw a group of attackers attack and kill Basharat, killing him.

Human Rights Focus Pakistan chairman Naveed Walter said the murder of the Christian father looks like revenge for bringing those responsible for Hoorab's kidnapping to justice.

Two merchants, Muhammad Mustafa and Muhammad Usman, seized the girl on 28 December 2022. The latter had converted her to Islam in order to marry her in the city of Chiniot.

On 17 February, the girl was moved to the Dar-ul-Aman shelter for women victims of violence; and in late March her request to be reunited with her family was accepted by the Magistrate Court.

Basharat Masih, a widower, was a day labourer. His daughter, Hoorab, helped the family by working at Muhammad Usman and Muhammad Mustafa's shop.

The threats against the father and daughter never ceased, neither during nor after the court case, Maryam Bibi said.

For Naveed Walter, “Hoorab's case has shown once again that even after a trial, threats against Christians do not end. Being easy targets, religious minorities suffer kidnapping, conversion and forced marriage. Those guilty of the murder of Basharat Masih should be brought to justice.”

Robin Daniel, a human rights activist who helped the family bring Hoorab home, calls for legislation banning such violence.

“The bill against forced conversions, which was rejected by the previous government as anti-Islamic, should be reintroduced, and the law limiting child marriage implemented.”

“Considering forced conversions a service to Islam has also made the processes biased and challenging,” the activist continued.

“Basharat Masih was killed because he was Hoorab's father. We live in a society where a father who demands justice for his daughter is killed.”

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
Abducted from her home in Faisalabad, Christian girl forced into marriage
06/07/2022 13:32
A 12-year-old Christian girl kidnapped near Faisalabad and converted to Islam
07/02/2023 19:57
Man who abducted a Christian girl in Faisalabad gets bail
21/04/2022 13:01
Two men over 40 abduct 15-year-old Christian girl in Faisalabad
25/05/2022 17:22


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”