ASIA/PAKISTAN - A Christian has died in hospital, victim of an attack due to religious hostility

Thursday, 2 July 2020 human rights   discrimination   violence   religious minorities   religious freedom   freedom of conscience   civil society   islam  

Peshawar (Agenzia Fides) - "It is very sad and tragic news; first of all we ask for justice for Nadeem Joseph and his family. Everyone has the right to buy property in Pakistan. This incident is a clear violation of human rights, it is an act against the law and cannot go unpunished. In addition, it should be noted with concern that similar episodes of attacks on the most vulnerable communities are on the rise: the government must take them seriously. "This is how Christian human rights activist Sabir Michael, comments the story of Nadeem Joseph to Agenzia Fides, a Christian attacked for buying a house in a Muslim-majority area in Peshawar. As Fides learns, the man died on June 29 after undergoing five surgeries following gunshot wounds. On June 4, 2020, his attackers, Muslim men who believed Christians "unwanted", shot him in the stomach, seriously injuring him (see Fides, 12/06/2020).
Khalid Shahzad, another activist in continuous contact with Nadeem Joseph’s family, speaking with Fides said: "It is a very sad and alarming story for the entire Christian community; now the culprits need to face a murder trial. Nadeem's family is in pain and lives in terror after this attack. The family is grateful to all those who have offered help and assistance for Nadeem Joseph's care and legal issues".
Christian Samson Salamat, president of the "Rwadari Tehreek Pakistan" civil society organization ("Movement for tolerance in Pakistan"), committed to peace, pluralism and interreligious harmony, told Fides: "This attack against Joseph Nadeem is the worst form of discrimination and persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan. A question arises: who will be able to protect and save the lives of human beings who are members of religious minorities in Pakistan?".
Nadeem Joseph had purchased a house in an area of Muslim majority in Peshawar, and his Muslim neighbors began to show dissent because a Christian family lived in their street, considering them unworthy and unwanted. They first threatened Nadeem's family by ordering family members to leave their home within 24 hours. When Nadeem called the police, before they arrived, they started hitting him and then opened fire on him and his family and fled once the police arrived. (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2/7/2020)

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