01/30/2012, 00.00
Send to a friend

Punjab: Christian activist subject of police threats

by Jibran Khan
Waseem Shakir sued a group of police officers, because they have insulted the Christian faith with insulting phrases. The police turned the matter around and denounced the man with false accusations. Priest in Muzaffargarh: abuse of police power affects the most vulnerable and marginalized.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Waseem Shakir, human rights activist and coordinator of the district PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz) in Kot Addu Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, has reported receiving threats by police officers. Previously he had filed complaints against elements of the police, for having insulted the Christian religion in disparaging and outrageous remarks. For having filed the lawsuit, now fears possible reprisals and become the victim of an ambush.

According to local sources, deputy-Inspector Riaz tried to contact Waseem's brother, Faheem Masih, and asked him to "convince" his brother to withdraw the complaint. Otherwise, he warned, he will have to "deal" with the police.

A group of officers had in fact contacted Waseem Shakir, threatening he would meet the same end of "other activists" who were "gagged". He is under pressure on several fronts, to withdraw the complaint, in which he denounced the police practice of "making visits to communities in the area," which affects the inhabitants and during which they use "disparaging" language against the Christian religion.

When the activist filed a complaint in response agents reversed positions and opened a file against him accusing him of having "attacked" the police and shot at them. The judge who has examined the dossier said he was surprised by the charges against Shakir: non of the officers, in fact, are damaged or injured by a firearm.

Speaking to AsiaNews Fr John Chand, a priest in Muzaffargarh, strongly condemns the latest episode of anti-Christian violence, involving members of the police force. "It's a shame - he declares - that the police use inhumane tactics to intimidate activists." For. Fr. John it is a "common practice" in Punjab, where the police abuse their power to the detriment of the marginalized and vulnerable groups of population, as was done "in the case of demolition of the Gosh-e-Aman in Lahore" (cf. AsiaNews 21/01/2012 Lahore, Catholics go to court against the "blasphemous" demolition of their institute).

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
Yasmin Church: the mayor of Bogor revokes permit for church
Beijing arrests human rights activist Xu Zhiyong
18/02/2020 10:04
Karnataka: new restrictions on religious processions cause concern
Sinuiju: Hundreds of North Koreans against the police, dead and wounded


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”