ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian lawyer: "Sharoon Masih killed for a glass of water, like Asia Bibi"

Monday, 18 September 2017 islam   human rights   justice   religious minorities   religious freedom   school   education   violence   discrimination  

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "He was called with the nickname of 'choora', a pejorative which is used to define Pakistani Christians, identifying them with the caste of 'street cleaners' or 'untouchables'. He was beaten to death, for having drawn water from a container from which only Muslim students were allowed. Simply for discrimination and contempt, simply because considered untouchable. His case recalls that of Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy. She was also accused for a glass of water. The two cases are tragic and are a shame for the country": says Christian Lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill to Agenzia Fides, referring to the sad story of Sharoon Masih, a Christian student in Punjab killed by his Muslim schoolmates on August 30 (see Fides 2/9/2017 and 13/9/2017). The case has come to the forefront of the chronicles and was also discussed in the Pakistani Parliament, an example of discrimination that is fueled at school.
Gill also involves a teacher who told the police he "did not see anything, as he was busy reading the newspaper". Gill explains: "Rana Surbland Khan, Muslim high school teacher where the murder was committed, supported the violence: in fact, he told the class that Christian students could not drink water from the fridge in the classroom because Muslim students complained".
Sharoon Masih's father also claims that the incident "is based on religious fanaticism" and pointed out the teacher's responsibility for "causing violence". Shortly after the incident, some of Sharoon’s classmates reported to the family that the boy had been beaten "for having drawn and drunk water from the same vase used by other students".
Sharoon Masih was the only Christian student in the class. His family members say that "his classmates sought an excuse to beat him and the teachers did nothing to stop the violence".
On September 12, Christian parliamentarian Khalil George, spoke to the Pakistani Parliament concerning the case of the lynching of Christian student Sharon Masih and proposed to name the school where the murder took place after Sharoon Masih (see Fides 14/9/2017). (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2017)


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