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Pakistan: Rights group condemns brutal attack, ‘false’ blasphemy accusation on Christian nurses

This story provides yet another example of how Pakistan’s blasphemy laws continue to be used to victimize Christians and other religious minorities. Christians comprise only 1.2% of the nation’s population, but were 3.5% of those who were accused of committing blasphemy in 2020. Christians and other religious minorities generally have no recourse, since all too often this happens with the approval of the relevant authorities.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once again calls upon the international human rights community to bring pressure upon the government of Pakistan to end these injustices, and allow the Orthodox Christians, Christians of other traditions, and people of all religions to practice their faiths in peace and live in peace.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Pakistan: Rights group condemns brutal attack, ‘false’ blasphemy accusation on Christian nurses,” ANI, April 10, 2021:

Faisalabad [Pakistan], April 10 (ANI): A Pakistan-based right group has condemned a brutal attack on two Christian nurses, who were falsely accused of committing blasphemy.

They both were attacked while discharging their duties early this week.

The two Christian nurses identified as Mariam Lal (staff nurse) and Neush Arooj (student) have been charged for violating blasphemy law, which carries a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam.

A coworker head nurse Rukhsana alleged that nurses damaged the Islamic religious sticker which was hung on the cupboard.

“Muhammad Waqas, a dispenser in the same hospital attacked the nurses with a knife. Police reached and arrested both the nurses and they are in police custody now”, said Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) in a statement.

Due to the mob pressure on April 9, 2021, police at the civil lines police station, Faisalabad registered an FIR under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code against the nurses on the complaint of Dr Muhammad Ali.

The 295-B mandates imprisonment for life for “defiling, etc, of a copy of the Holy Quran. Whoever willfully defile, damage or desecrate a copy of the Holy Quran or of an extract therefrom or use it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable for imprisonment for life”….

Naveed Walter [of HRFP] demands to bring the assailants to justice who attacked both nurses and falsely alleged and subjected them to violence looks clear through footage Muhammad Waqas claiming but still, there are no actions. He said the allegations have led to mob violence and extrajudicial killings….

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