Sohail Johnson, Chief coordinator SLMP, visits Central Jail Faisal Abad Visit on 2nd January 2006
17 Feb 2006
Superintendent: Mohammad Shahid Papu
Deputy Superintendent: Meher Ashraf
Chief Head Warden: Mohammad Altaf
Muslim Preacher: Qaari Abdul-Samad
Capacity of Prisoners: 1700
Present number of the prisoners: 3823
Christian Prisoners: 120
Christian Women Prisoners: Nil
Christian Prisoners under Age: Nil
Christian Prisoners in Death Cells: 17
SLMP team started journey to Central Jail Faisal Abad from the main office Lahore at about 6:00am on 2nd January 2006. It was heavy rain and the day was very cold. When team reached the main gate of the jail. One of team members showed permission letter to the guard present at the gate. Guard entered the jail and after about Â½ hour he came back and asked the team members to come in the jail. All the team members were checked keenly and stamped. Entities of Christmas Blessings were also scanned and checked keenly by jail staff. After due formalities team was allowed to enter the area where Christian prisoners were gathered. Head warden of the jail led the team members to the yard of the jail. Rain was stopped at that time.
When team reached the yard prisoners were coming to the yard. But before they gathered rain was started again. Some prisoners suggested the team members to conduct the prayer meeting at nearby cell. All the prisoners and SLMP team went to nearby cell. In the cell many Muslim prisoners were present there. Chief Coordinator gave brief introduction of SLMP. Prisoners welcomed team members and expressed their thankful feelings to the team members. Chief Coordinator asked the team members to collect data and facts of the cases of innocent prisoners and started to share words of God as:
"In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame deliver me in your righteousness, turn your ear to me, rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock my fortress, for the sack of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O lord, the God of truth".
My dear brothers we saw in the Bible that how servant of God believe in God by saying that "In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge" and how he depends on God. It is very clear to us that if we depend on God and in our lives he will bless us. Always keep it in your minds that we are nothing without God. We should not depend on men God does not like it as Bible says Jeremiah 17:05 "this is what the Lord says; "cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and who's heart turns away from the Lord." Just think for a while that God cursed them who depends on the men because He wants us to trust in Him and depend on Him. Some times we feel fear to go in front of God because of our sins but our Lord knows that we are feeble and He wants to strengthen us. And he wants us to present ourselves with all our weaknesses.
He is our shelter and we can refuge in Him. We can present our all burdens before Him. Do you believe that God can leave us alone in our worries, no, not at all, we should always see to Him and believe in Him and he will set us free from all of our worries. How pleasant is it that almighty Lord saves us and loves us even we are sinner and weak. Let us follow the attitude of King David who said to the Lord to guide and lead us. Free us from the trap that is set before us. Let us say to the Lord that you are the rock of our refuge and our fortress. I believe that He will lead us and set us free from all the worries and burdens. Amen".
After the message Chief Coordinator asked the prisoners to make a chain by joining their hands with each other and started prayer.
After prayer Chief Coordinator asked the prisoners who are already getting monthly support to come in front and distributed Christmas Blessing gifts among them. Prisoners received their gifts cheerfully and expressed their thankful feelings. Chief Coordinator advised the guilty prisoners to turn their lives to God and God will bless them in all their ways .
Shahbaz s/o Mumtaz Masih
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Factory worker
Case No: 667/05
Police station: People's Colony Faisal Abad
Address: Chak No 224 Maqbool Road Faisal Abad
" I belong to a poor family. In the month of August 2005 I along with my Muslim friends went to a Shrine. My friends went into the Shrine for prayer while I stayed out side. Suddenly police came there and arrested me. When my friends came out police also arrested them and took us to the police station. In the police station police demanded money from us. Two of my friends gave money to police and police set them free. Three of my friends and me could not give money to police. So police lodged FIR against us by making false story that we were taking hemp and sent us behind the bars. My family is very poor. They can't arrange lawyer for me. They did not visit me for last three months. I am suffering in the jail with out any help from anybody.
Sajaad s/o Anayat
Marital Status; Single
Occupation: Factory Worker
Case No: 955/05
Police Station: Sargodha Road Faisal Abad
Address: Milat Chowk Galilabad H/No. 2 St. No 1 Green Town Faisal Abad.
"I was residing at H/No 2 St. No 1 Green Town Faisal Abad. Mohammad Nawaz s/o Mohammad Mushtaq is residing at alongside my house. About 6 months ago Mohammad Nawaz' daughter met me in the street and said me that she loves me. I also like her so l fell in her love. When Mohammad Nawaz came to know about our relation he tortured her severely. He also complained my parents. My father rebuked and beat me but we did not stop to meet. Mohammad Nawaz has good terms with a policeman named Mohammad Mansha Sub-Inspector. Mohammad Nawaz discussed about me with him. About one month prior, Mohammad Mansha raided at my house and arrested me and falsely involved me in a narcotics case. My fault is this that I love his daughter. I did nothing wrong regarding this case.
Sajid s/o Boota Masih
Marital Status: Single
Case No: N/A
Police Station; City Gojra
Address: Jhang Road Dhama Bangla Tehsil Gojra District Toba Take Singh.
"I used to work as a driver at the house of Mohammad Akhter. His son named Mohammad Shehzad was studying in B-A. On 19 April 2002 Mohammad Shehzad asked me that he has to appear in exams so drop him to examination hall. I drew the car to examination hall and dropped him. He asked me to stay out side until he comes back. I stayed out side the examination hall. After a while Mohammad Shehzad along with about 6 other guys were dragging out the examiner for the examination hall. They were beating him severely. After giving him severe beatings Shehzad came to me and said to me to take him to home. I started the car and came back to his home. In the way to home I asked him that what happened in the examination hall and why were they beating the examiner. He told me that some of my friends were trying for cheating in the exam and examiner caught them red-handedly. The examiner canceled their paper that's why we beat him.
Afterwards I heard a news that the examiner got expired and his family got case registered against Shehzad and three of his friends. After some days police raided at the house of my owner and arrested Shehzad. When police came to know that I drew the car on that day police also arrested me and involve me too in the murder case of examiner. Investigation report was submitted after due completion in the court. Trial was conducted in the session court and judge announced the conviction as; I was convicted for 25 years imprisonment and others two were convicted for death sentence. And other ones were convicted for 25 years imprisonment. All of us filed appeals against the decision of session judge in high court. Judge of high court reduced my conviction for 14 years.
Death sentences prisoners
SLMP team visited death sentenced prisoners. Christian death sentenced prisoners were detained in two different Blocks. First team went to block No. 6. There were 7 Christian death sentenced prisoners. Team met with the prisoners. Chief Coordinator asked about the situation after exchange of greetings. Prisoners said that they are missing their family members in the jail. Jail management is not cooperative with them. Management detained Christian prisoners separately so that we can help each other. Some Muslim prisoners are also detained here in our Block who create problems for us when we pray. Food is not proper and we are not allowed to have religious books or such sort of material.
Chief Coordinator consoled them and prayed for them. Chief Coordinator distributed Christmas gifts among them and assured them for SLMP team's full-fledged cooperate whenever they want.
Afterwards team went to the Block No. 8 where 6 Christian death sentenced prisoners were detained. They welcomed team members warmly and thanked for visit to him. After exchange of greetings Chief Coordinator offered prayer for them and distributed Christmas Blessing gifts among them. All the prisoners were very thankful to ministry for Christmas gifts.
Blasphemy accused prisoners
After the visit of death-sentenced prisoners Chief Coordinator asked the head warden for blasphemy-accused prisoners' visit but head warden refused the team to visit the blasphemy accused Christian prisoners. Chief Coordinator forced him that team has to meet them. Head warden went to Superintendent and after a while Superintendent called Chief Coordinator. Then Chief Coordinator asked the Superintendent to allow the team to visit blasphemy-accused prisoners. After some negotiation Superintendent allowed the team members to meet the blasphemy accused Christian prisoners for very short time.
SLMP team met with the blasphemy-accused prisoners the list of the blasphemy-accused prisoners is as under;
Shahbaz alias Kaka
After formal exchange of greetings Chief Coordinator offered prayer for them and distributed Christmas Blessing gifts among them. Jail management gave very short time to meet them. Team collected some statements of blasphemy-accused prisoners;
Statements of blasphemy accused Christian prisoners
"I am ill but jail management do not take care of myself. Jail management detained me in a condemn cell. I cannot sleep properly even I am not allowed to walk for some time. That's why I became so weak and ill. Nobody visits me in the jail. Behavior of jail management and other Muslim prisoners is very harsh to me and they always insult and disgrace me".
Note: Ranjha Masih asked Chief Coordinator for some money and Chief Coordinator gave him from his own pocket.
Shehbaz alias Kaka
"We are not allowed to pray together. Jail management detained us separately in different cells. I want to know about words of God but no priest is allowed to visit us. I am much desirous to be strong in Jesus Christ".
"I am alone in my cell. It is a very small cell. Jail management persecute me in different ways. Muslim prisoners threat me for life. I have fear that they will kill me in the jail one day. I told jail superintendent about the life threats but he did not take any action against Muslim prisoners. I am worried about my other prison fellows who are blasphemy accused because Muslim prisoners think same for all of them".
"I am very sad in the jail because we cannot pray together. Jail management detained us separately in different cells. We are facing very harsh behavior of jail staff and Muslim prisoners. They always tease us and threat us for life. Jail staff disconnect our water supply many times just to persecute us. They detained us very small condemn cell. Even we cannot sleep properly in the cells".
"We are facing very harsh attitude of Muslim prisoners and the jail staff. They persecute us just because we are blasphemy accused. Not only this, attitude of police is very harsh with us. Even the judges are very fanatic towards us".
Chief Coordinator prayed for blasphemy accused prisoners and distributed Christmas Blessing gifts among them. Chief Coordinator consoled them and said "God loves you and you are in his view. Don't think that God will leave you alone. Don't think you are alone in condemn cells because Jesus is with you. You can talk to Him, as he is your friend. You know Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven"
All the blasphemy accused prisoners thanked to the SLMP team for distributing Christmas Blessing gifts and visit them.
About at 1:00pm SLMP team came out from the jail for the next visit of Juvenile Jail Faisal Abad.
Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan