Image of protest against false blasphemy charge held on Friday.
Burnt remains form home of teenage blasphemy victim Ryan.
Police Officers and humanitarians work to protect Ryan and his mother.
BPCA's Shamim Masih on Right.
ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN, (SHAMIM MASIH):
Whilst the world watches Pakistan deteriorate into anarchy following the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, a young Muslim Teenage activist campaigning against gender discrimination in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and the arrest under the blasphemey laws of Rimsha Masih the teenage Christian with a mental illness, another case of blasphemy was reported to police on Wednesday, 10th October against a Christian teenager.
Ryan Stanten Patris a 15 year old boy from a middle-class region of Karachi has now been accused of sending blasphemous texts to Muslim friends. The rumour resulted in the home of the teenager being ransacked and set alight, during a deplorable incident in which the local imam followed the usual routine of inciting hatred against the defenceless accused family.
Often the Pakistani authorities try to allay fears of potential widespread hatred Christians throughout Pakistan, by suggesting that victims are from rural areas. Yet this victim like so many others that are brushed under the carpet are from a relatively affluent area - the middle-class neighbourhood of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi.
The incident took place within staff colony of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) located at the junction of University Road and Abu al Hasan Ispahani Road, Karachi.
Police have said that the allegations of blasphemous text messages had been laid by local residents surrounding this family. The text was said to have sent on Tuesday (9th October) was forwarded through a number of local people from the colony including residents and workers creating great anger towards the boy and his family.
Ms Bryan worked as a superintendent at the SSGC and was warned of the fomenting of hatred and was able to escape to a safe place before the attack. A Senior Police Officer from the area said;
“Had they not left the house, the situation could have been really bad,”
After the turmoil police reached the scene and succumbing to the mob tried to appease them by assuring them that police would register a blasphemy case against Ryan Brian.
A case (FIR No 432/2012) under Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks, etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet) of the Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 25 of the Telegraph Act was later registered at the Mobina Town police station.
A duty officer of the police station said;
"An FIR has been registered against Ryan Stanten, son of Ms Bryan, a resident of SSGC staff colony on a complaint received from SSGC chief manager Khursheed Alam."
Describing the trend as very dangerous, in which the Christians were being targeted, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chief Zohra Yousaf said that people had become very scared.
Earlier in August, a 14-year-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, had been accused of blasphemy by a cleric in a suburban neighbourhood of Islamabad. She was finally released by a court and had to be airlifted to an undisclosed location for security reasons.
Earlier in 2009, under FIR No. 767, dated 28.11.2008 under sections 295-c/109 PPC, 25-D Telegraph act, Pakistani Additional Session Judge, Muhammad Sarfraz Akhter in Rawalpindi acquitted the accused Hector Aleem, Basharat Khokhar and Robin Masih in a similar case.
After that favourable hearing the court declared in its report, “in a nutshell on the basis of illegalities committed by investigating agencies of the police and the prosecution service, the prosecution has failed to prove the charge against all the said accused persons. They are therefore, hereby acquitted of the charge.
Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA said;
"We pray for their protection and for justice in another unwarranted use of the draconian blasphemy laws of Pakistan. Malevolent injustice with impunity, threatens to decimate Pakistani society. We challenge the Pakistani Authorities to stand-up to these extremists and to terminate this hijacking of a nation from within. Only a strong-willed determined effort towards change will stop the rot that has undermined progressed in a country with so much initial promise."