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HRFP provides Legal Aid at LHC to Church Attack victims of a village in Sammundri

Faisalabad: October 19, 2018. (PCP) Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) is providing Legal Aid and other possible assistance to Ibad Masih (Abbad Masih) and other victims of attacked Catholic Church riots in Chak No. 165 G.B Harsan Kot, Samundri (district Faisalabad) occurred in July 2018. HRFP is assisting them since their fact findings visit of incident place, linked Parish, Priest Fr. Abid and meetings with victims & their families.

After proceedings in Session Courts, the culprits submitted petition in Lahore High Court with addition of severe allegations on victims which are defending by Ibad Masih (Abad Masih). In the Lahore High Court HRFP is providing legal aid through their counsel Mehboob Saeed advocate and its last hearing was on October 12, 2018 in the court of Mr. Justice Sarfraz Dogar and before it the hearing was on 3rd October 2018 in which Mr. Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem stated that more time & facts are required to proceed it further. Mr. Justice Srafraz Dogar stated further that the next hearing is fixed for 24th October 2018 in the court of Mr. Justice Muzaher Ali Naqvi in the context of previous court’s proceedings. He ordered to I.O (Investigation Officer), victims and culprits to attend the next coming hearing. HRFP team including Naveed Walter attended the previous hearings with Ibad Masih and will attend the next coming hearings as well.

The incident actually rooted to the agricultural employee of a notorious land grabber’s family, who forced him to record a false statement against that land owner whose land was grabbed by Nasreen Iqbal’s family even the police took him to police station on 3rd of July in false theft allegation by Nasreen Iqbal & family but he was released on 5th of July due to lack of evidence. Nasreen Iqbal felt insulted on his release as Christian and she was also annoyed toward Church administration for his help. In revenge on 13th July 2018 Jawad, Changaiz & Khadija including their allies Zulqurnain and Muhammad Yousaf attacked the Church to burn it with worshippers but the Church members intervened timely and the police caught to Jawad, Changaiz and Khadija while Zulqurnain and Yousaf fled.

Naveed Walter president HRFP said that police is under influence of Nasreen Iqbal & allies and in most recently the DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) Mian Akmal with I.O Abbas helped culprits in arranging a local villager’s council meeting including religious persons for forcing victims to step back in case but the victims takes stand courageously for justice against inhuman violence and attack on Church. He said further that the local police are not stating the true facts & investigations report to Lahore High Court which may affect the decision of court, he added more. Naveed Walter urged that the free & fair trial should be ensued by state including the safety & security of victims, families and their worship places as well, he added more.