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Monday 28 April 2014

Christian man beaten for taking two extra days off from his employment!

Story provided by Mushtaq Gill.

Kasur:On 23 April,2014,a poor Christian,Saleem Masih,was severely beaten and tortured by his Muslim Landlord.The complaint has been submitted in Saddar Police Station,Kasur. A medical report has been received from District Headquarters Hospital, Kasur prompted by a legal procedure and now and FIR will be lodged against the culprit.  In an FIR is not lodged by Saddar Police, then Advocate Mushtaq Gill will be serving a petition to the Court of Session Judge, Kasur, calling for registration of an FIR against the culprit.

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Saleem has been working for his Muslim employer Muhammad Abbas for five years. Mr Abbas's father is tribal leader for the local Village Bagree in Kasur. 

Saleem took a holiday for Easter day and returned back to work after enjoying two additional days.  His employer was outraged that two additional days holiday had been taken and became furious.  Mr Abbas had Saleem beaten severely.  Saleem was extremely fortunate that other villagers saw him getting beaten.  They intervened and took Saleem to safety, otherwise he could have been beaten to death.

This type of physical torture is commonplace in the Brick Kiln and filed labouring industries.  Often it is Christians that serve such roles as they have become a social underclass in Pakistan.  Many of the workers are indebted to their master due to historic debt under what is being termed bonded labour.  

“Laws to protect workers already exist, but their implementation is weak,” Gill said. “The government is working on strengthening implementation so workers’ problems and poverty can be reduced.”

Wilson Chowdhry chair of the BPCA said;

"Many employees in these industries are paid under the prescribed minimum wage and do not have any formal contract of employment.  If employees try to break away from their bondage, they are beaten, killed, harassed or implicated in fake blasphemy charges by their unscrupulous employers."  He added;

"Pakistani Authorities must do more to protect these vulnerable communities, every effort should be made to free them from their modern day slavery."

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