Pakistani Christians
Pakistani Christians

UNHRC asked to save, protect Pakistani Christians

ANI | Updated: May 22, 2018 16:50 IST

Washington D.C. [United States]/ Geneva [Switzerland], May 22 (ANI): A legal submission has been made to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to save and protect Pakistani Christians from persecution.
The submission has been made by the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a Christian-based social activism and watchdog for corruption.
In its submission placed before the UNHRC, the ACLJ claimed that, "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan continues to violate the human rights of its religious minorities. Instances of mob violence; police torture; false accusations of blasphemy; rape, murder, and other forms of violence occur on a regular basis. Authorities in Pakistan have shown a continuous inability or unwillingness to protect its minorities from human rights abuses. These aren't isolated incidents. Christians are being specifically targeted."
It further said in a statement, which appears on its web site, that, "Pakistani Christians are (being) terrorized, tortured, murdered - even sentenced to death - simply because of their faith. The Pakistani government seems unable or unwilling to protect its Christian citizens.. We are asking the world's leaders to take urgent action."
It said that churches in Pakistan were being repeatedly attacked and damaged by Islamic-centric mobs, and Christian neighbourhoods were also being attacked.
The Pakistani government, it claimed, continues to turn a blind eye, so much so that, "Christians can't even count on the local authorities to protect them."
"We are aggressively fighting for persecuted Christians through our office on the ground in Pakistan. We also continue to advocate for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who we've told you has been sentenced to death under Pakistan's blasphemy laws for offering a Muslim coworker a glass of water. Pakistan has allowed these easily misinterpreted laws to cause innocent people - particularly Christians like Asia Bibi, and other religious minorities - to suffer and even die," the ACLJ said in its submission to the UNHCR.
It described Pakistan's blasphemy laws as being infamous for their scope and brutality.
"As a result, the blasphemy laws are easy to misuse and charges often result because of personal vendettas between the parties. Since Pakistan enacted these laws in the 1980s, over one thousand cases have been registered and over forty people are on death row or serving life sentences. Over fifty people have been killed over blasphemy allegations and hundreds are serving or have served prison terms ranging from three to ten years," it said.
The ACLJ asked the UNHCR to put pressure on Pakistan to abide by international agreements it has ratified to protect religious minorities.
"We must act now to protect our persecuted and dying Christian brothers and sisters. We will continue aggressively to advocate at the U.N. and through our office on the ground in Pakistan, but we need you. Be the voice of Pakistan's frightened and dying Christians," the ACLJ said. (ANI)