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Monday, 10 September 2012

Demonstrators crying for justice, shed tears of joy after release of Rimsha!

Young children called for freedom for Rimsha a minor just like them!

Asylum seeker Stephen Anjum spoke of the oppressive nature of the state of Pakistan.

Protesters terminated the protest early full of joy at news of Rimsha's release!

Pakistani Christians from Birmingham, Walsall and Coventry converged at the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham on Saturday 8th September 2012.  Shocked by the incarceration of Rimsha Masih a minor with a mental disability they called for immediate release.  The protest which was due to end at 3pm was called short after news started to filter through that following her granting of bail on Friday 7th Sept 2012, she was finally released.  Shouts of joy rang out along the now infamous Constitution Hill in Birmingham.  Ill feeling was caused when officials present at the consulate till 13:00 refused to accept a petition with over 5000 signatures.

Rimsha Masih said to be between 11 - 14 years old and suffering from a Mental impermanent or illness has been in prison since the 9th August, for a purported blasphemy.  She has was granted bail on Friday but court machinations meant she was kept imprisoned until around 2pm on Saturday.  Confusion surround the veracity of the case after Imam Chisti, who laid the original blasphemy allegation was accused by his deputy of planting torn shreds of the Koran into a bag already containing burnt matter from an Arabic instructional manual on Islam.  Despite this fabricated evidence coming to light, that undermines the original blasphemy law charge - which only protects the Koran and not instructional text books - the child continues to be taken dragged through a adult court trial.  The defence has called for a switch of trial proceedings so that she is tried under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinances a move the BPCA supports.

Rimsha's life is still under threat and warnings regarding her imminent death have reverberated throughout Pakistan.  Certain Islamic Groups have placed a price on her head and even the prosecution lawyer gas called for her extra-judicial killing if she is acquitted of all charges.  

On release Rimsha was surrounded by Police and flown away to safety by helicopter, initially meeting with her uncle at his home before moving to a secret, high security location.  Pakistani media have been condemned for releasing here whereabouts at her uncles home in early reports, in what many humanitarian groups viewed a huge security risk.

Another protest will take place in Birmingham later in the month to continue pressure for Rimsha's release and to highlight the plight of other victims of persecution in Pakistan, including two gun sieges at Walton, Lahore and Essa Nagri, Karachi.  These have been triggered by local imams after the communities refused to convert to Islam or pay the extortion (protection money paid by minorities) sanctioned under Sharia Law, termed the Jizya Tax.

Wilson Chowdhry of the BPCA commented on the protest and Rimsha's release:

"British Pakistani Christians have travelled the length of the country with protests at Pakistani Consulates in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and the High Commission in London.  We have drawn huge media attention on the ongoing maltreatment and oppression of minorities in Pakistan.  We have been joined by Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, those with no faith and wide diverse backgrounds.  The world has been astounded by the injustice of this blasphemy case and MP Andrew Stephenson on Premier Christian radio praised the efforts of NGO's and Humanitarian groups in raising their voices to see justice done.  The battle does not stop here and Rimsha will still have to undergo a full trial, moreover other victims continue to suffer. We can rejoice however as a small step towards success was achieved with today's result and a child is back with her parents!"

He added;

"The Government of Pakistan is obliged to ensure the safety of Rimsha and to ensure she has access to proper welfare such as trauma counselling.  If not they will be in breach of the many  many international covenants for human rights the nation has subscribed to.  The world is now watching and they will be accountable for any failure."

If you would like to contribute to our "Rimsha Masih Fund" (Please apply the fund name as a reference) please use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog.  You can also send your contributions by cheque payable to;
British Pakistani Christian Association.

Post to;

British Pakistani Christian Association
57 Green Lane
IG1 1XG 

Alternatively should you wish you can pay by BACS, direct debit or standing order by paying into the following account details: 

Sort Code: 20-67-90 

Account Number: 63468976

Our long term hope is that Rimsha and her family will be granted Asylum in the UK, America, Canada or other safe countries.  Today we spoke with MP Andrew Stephenson form Pendle, to ask if Britain would offer asylum to Rimsha.  He said;
"Sadly the line is that all cases are considered on their merits, however given what Alistair Burt said in the chamber and how high profile this case has been I would have thought her chances are very good"

Jas Uppal from Free Sarabjit Singh Campaign spoke of the imprisonment of border strayers and POW's.

Though consulate employees refused our petition we demonstrated anyway.

Christians traveled from Walsall, Birmingham and Coventry.

Carrying the cross before us whilst raising our voices for persecuted minorities in Pakistan.

We opened the protest in prayerful reflection.

Wilson Chowdhry spoke of the pieces of legislation that discriminate against minorities.

Joy filled the air as we heard of Rimsha's release...

Freedom for Rimsha was the focus of our protest!

Three pastors joined our protest - Pakistani Christians in the UK are beginning to unite!

1 comment:

  1. God Bless You Mr. Wilson and all others who are supporting you there. Blessed be the name of our Lord God, forver