On 4th March 2015 at 7pm a Christian mother, Ms Aysha Bibi, was arrested by police from Harbanspura, near Lahore, for allegedly stealing 35,000 rupees and gold ornaments weighing close to 100g. The harassed mother who worked as a domestic servant for her employer Abdul Jabbar and his family, despite many years of loyal service.
Aysha Bibi was accused of stealing the items around the 24th of February, while they were at a wedding. However, Aysha she claims she stopped working at the house on 20th February for which she had been fully remunerated. On the 4th of March she received a call from her employers for additional work. Oblivious of the accusations she was surprised when she was bundled into a car in a frenzied moment of hatred, during which she suffered abuse, accusations and beatings.
Police arrested her and placed her in a cell on receipt of the complaint from her employer Abdul Jabbar. They beat Aysha Bibi with sticks and their fists shouting abuse and accusations in an attempt to force a confession. The violence of the beatings shattered the bones in her arms, yet despite the pain innocent Aysha refused to incriminate herself through a false confession.
Eager to bring their investigation to a conclusion in a further abuse of their authority local police, arrested the son of Aysha, a Mr Zubair Rashid Masih from his home. Three police officers arrived at 7am at his house and violently bundled him into a police car before a number of onlookers.
Aysha was forced to watch her son being pulverised before her, whilst the Police threatened her that the beatings would only stop when she confessed to the burglary. The mother was released later that day but her son was detained, while police tried to force a confession out of him.
Aysha Bibi said;
“My son was screaming for them to stop, it was obvious he was in pain there was blood everywhere. I asked the Police to beat me not my son he had never even been to my employers home?”
This morning at 07:00 a police car crudely dumped the dead body of her son on the street in front of the poor mother’s home in the deprived community of Shamsabad. A funeral will be held for the son tomorrow. Today the distraught mother filed an FIR against the police, and is now praying for justice for her son. BPCA officer Mehwish Bhatti will meet the family tomorrow to discuss how we can help. Please pray for her safety and for succour for the mother and grieving family.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said;
“This poor mother’s hurt is one that reverberates throughout Pakistan. Christian mothers lose their daughters to rape and forced Islamic marriage and too often lose their sons to malicious acts of violence. The value of a Christian in Pakistan is deemed no more than a postage stamp. Unless significant social reform takes place this ongoing hatred will lead to even more sorrow in a country bereft of love.”
Alison Houghton, BPCA researcher, said;
“No mother should have to endure the brutal killing of her son by police hands or witness his body callously dumped like garbage in the street. When police in Pakistan can treat a Christian in this shocking and inhumane manner, in broad daylight with no attempt to conceal their actions, it shows how worthless Christian lives are and how violence is endemic within the authorities. It also sends a clear message to Pakistani society that violence, hatred and religious intolerance towards Christians is condoned. “
We have initiated a fund to challenge justice for this mother. We also intend to contribute towards the funeral cost of her son.
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