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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Displaced families from Mehr Abadi stage sit down protest in Islamabad!

 Umbrellas used as makeshift parasols protect women from the torturous sun.

Hundreds of displaced Christians who have lost there livelihoods called for compensation.

Roads were blocked as protesters called for justice!

Displaced families from Rimsha Masih's hometown staged a sit down protest today, near St Thomas Church, Blue Area, Islamabad. All afternoon hundreds of the Mehrabadi  G-12 community called for compensation after having to flee their homes which have since been looted or destroyed.

The majority of these Christians families have moved in with relatives in other Islamabad Christian enclaves after threats on their community continued in earnest, despite government assurances that they would be kept safe.  Shamim Masih our correspondent in Islamabad said;

"The majority of Christians living in the slum settlements of Islamabad have small homes and are unable to accommodate their relatives for long periods and the situation for struggling families is very tense.

A local man from Rimsha's town told us:

"we can't live there now, the situation can never be the same, after this incident" 

Over 230 families are said to be living with families in the surrounding areas.  Whilst Rimsha's trial was proceeding high security measures meant that many families returned to their homes under safe protection.  Since the bail hearing security measures have relaxed and animosity towards Christians has re-emerged to such an extent that most of these families have had to flee again.  

Shamim Masih confirmed the situation;

"Christian's feel unsafe.  They held this protest believing that Minister Paul Bhatti would come and support them, but he failed to turn up.  Promises of safe replacement homes from the Minister of National Harmony have simply not materialized and they feel very alone."

A local man said;

"We feel, they will not spare us, few of Muslims have already stated that the decision is not good, and their cleric has been arrested, instead of the authorities punishing Rimsha!  The courts are being influenced from outside the say!"

An Italian charity has paid for Rimsha's bail and she is now being sheltered in a Government protective shelter.  The BPCA will be using donations received for Rimsha to protect and feed these families who have been forgotten by Pakistani authorities.  If you would like to contribute please use the details below:

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

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