ASIA/PAKISTAN - Threats to the lawyer who defends Christians accused of blasphemy
Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - A Christian activist and lawyer is closely following the cases concerning Asia Bibi and Sawan Masih, Christians accused and sentenced to death for blasphemy: this is why Sardar Mushtaq Gill, head of the NGO "lead" ("Legal Evangelical Association Development") has been heavily threatened and intimidated and, as a form of pressure, his license to practice law may be revoked.
Gill told Fides: "On April 2, a stranger came to the Lahore Court and warned me that I might be attacked or involved in some fake criminal cases or even killed". The lawyer is "blacklisted" by terrorist groups and extremists who do not take kindly human rights defenders and Christians. The lawyer also received cross-cutting information that he could be expelled from the Order of lawyers, not allowing him to practice law.
Gill told Fides: "What am I supposed to do, stop? Psalm 118 says: 'The Lord is with me, I have no fear of anything. What can man do to me?' My other colleagues and I have been threatened and attacked several times by strangers because of our work for human rights in Pakistan. But we are not afraid. We know that we could be killed because we support the campaign for the abolition of the blasphemy law. But this will not close our mouth and will not stop our work on human rights. The Lord tells us to have courage".
In recent days, Gill, speaking to Fides, had defined Sawan Masih’s death sentence "the death of justice in Pakistan". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/04/2014)
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- 2014-09-08 - 9 September, date for next hearing in the trial of Asia Bibi
- 2014-09-08 - False accusations of blasphemy, later withdrawn, against 31 Christians in a Punjab village
- 2014-09-05 - Two Christian women abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men