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New Threats Against LEAD Lawyers and Mr. Sardar Mushtaq GillSalem-News.com
A chain of events was sparked 9th March, 2013 when more than 180 houses, 18 shops and two small churches in Joseph Colony were attacked, looted and burnt by over 3,000 people in a religious charged mob.
(LAHORE) - Human rights and Christian rights defender and campaigner Mr. Sardar Mushtaq Gill received new death threats as a result of his human rights activities.
Sardar Mushtaq Gill is the National Director of Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) in Punjab, a non-governmental organization which provides legal aid to marginalized people who are either falsely implicated by the police or unable to afford legal assistance themselves and evangelize to non-Christian in Pakistan.
On 9th March, 2013 more than 180 houses, 18 shops and two small churches in Joseph Colony were attacked, looted and burnt by over 3,000 people in a religious charged mob. The event which sparked the chain of events that led to the assault was said to have occurred on Wednesday, March 06, 2013.
The criminal case FIR no. 114/13 was registered at police station Bedami Bagh Lahore in which some culprits were arrested.
A division bench of the Lahore High Court granted bail to some accused involved in the Joseph Colony incident. Following this precedent and by applying rule of consistency, the trial court also granted bail to all accused nominated in the FIR and non-nominated in FIR who were arrested and those who were not arrested, were granted pre-arrest bail.
LEAD's lawyers had petitioned the Lahore High Court on Tuesday, 4 June, 2013 to cancel the bail granted to “Culprits of Joseph Colony incident” and they also asked for the detention of the released men amid allegations of new threats against Christians.
LEAD's lawyers are constantly threatened by unknown persons to withdraw the cancellation of bail petition. The case was set for 31 October, 2013, but LEAD's lawyers could not appear in the court due to fear and apprehension of any attack and mishaps.
Meanwhile, Sawan Masih, falsely accused of Blasphemy, who remains behind bars over the Badami Bagh incident was kept in a special cell at Camp Jail in Lahore with the deployment of round the clock armed guards.
Within this month of October three blasphemy cases were registered at different police stations. The case FIR No. 678/2013 under Sections 295 A,295 B,295 C PPC and 25/D Telegraph Act was registered at Police Station Green Town on 2 October, 2013 against Asif Pervaiz. He also was kept in a special cell at Camp Jail in Lahore with the deployment of round the clock armed guards, still awaiting justice. The after-arrest bail of Asif Pervaiz has been filled in the session court Lahore and fixed for 5 November.
On 9 October, 2013 another blasphemy case FIR No.675/2013 under sections 295 A,295 B and 295 C PPC was registered at Police Station Township against three Christians.The pre-arrest bail of Pastor Adnan has been filled in the session court Lahore and fixed for 6 November.
On 27 October, 2013 a third blasphemy case FIR No. 533/13 was registered at Sadar Police Station, Wazirabad against two brothers, Tariq Masih and Arif Masih, under section 295 B PPC on the complaint of Muhammad Khuram.
NEW THREATS BY FIRE
On 2nd November at around 06:35 pm, on the street of Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill, some unknown persons opened fire at local houses and created fear among residents. This continued for nearly half an hour. All people remained silent and locked their houses to avoid any kind of mishaps.
"I received the text message on my cell phone by my wife, where are you, there is firing outside of our house and do not come at this time and be careful, we are terrified and fearful and locked the door", said Gill.
Appeal BY Mr. Gill
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