ASIA/PAKISTAN - New violence against Christians in Punjab, while Fouzia Bibi’s rapists go unpunished

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pattoki (Agenzia Fides) - Intimidation and violence against Christian families in Punjab: the last episode registered by Fides Agency happened in the village of Pattoki, in the district of Kasur, which had already recorded in the days before, the rape and torture of a 15-year -old Christian Fouzia Bibi, by two influential local Muslims, one of whom was arrested, the other on the loose.
On February 8, some Muslims and some policemen not wearing their uniform, raided the home of the Christian Kaila Masih and beat up the family members, including three women: Zareena Bibi, Hameedan Bibi and Sharifan Bibi. The incident has caused concern and confusion in the community and, according to Fides sources, could be an act of intimidation to invite Fouzia Bibi's family to withdraw the complaint against the rapists. The faithful immediately warned Rev. Saleem Masih Gill and, thanks to the intervention of the NGO LEAD and the legal assistance provided, registered another complaint, complaining about the wave of violence with impunity on Christian families in the town.
Meanwhile, in the case of Fouzia Bibi, the release of Shabir Ali, the man arrested as one of the alleged perpetrators is to be expected: according to the medical examination conducted in recent days on the girl, rape was carried out, but since 15 days have gone by, it was impossible to trace organic signs (male semen). The police are determined to close the case by releasing Shabir Ali. If this happens, Fouzia’s family intends to appeal to the High Court. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/02/2013)