A teenage Christian minor girl died on Friday, January 22, 2010 as a result of the alleged torture her Muslim master inflicted on her some three days ago, ANS has learnt.
According to details ANS obtained from Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan (SLMP), the dead girl, Shazia Bashir, worked as a domestic servant in a leading Muslim lawyer’s house in Lahore.
The deceased was a resident of Islamia Park, Punch Road Aria Nagar, Samanabad, Lahore.
The ministry alleges that the lawyer and his family members had been subjecting the victim to “torture, inhumane treatment and abusive language”.
Sohail Johnson, Chief Coordinator of SLMP told an ANS correspondent that Shazia’s mistress had ordered her to clean the street with cold water a week ago and pulled her hair and used abusive language while overseeing the minor at work.
Mr. Johnson said that residents of the area told SLMP workers that Shazia had been working under stress and was going through emotional and psychological trauma.
The ministry also alleged that the poor victim of violence “would not get her monthly remuneration” but would rather “get insults whenever she raised the subject of payment” with her allegedly “cruel, callous and apathetic” Muslim masters.
Mr. Johnson went on to say that Shazia was allegedly tortured three days ago by her masters.
According to her, Shazia’s employer had fixed 1,000 Pakistani rupees ($11.81 US Dollars) as the monthly salary of the deceased. She disclosed that the victim often would not get this salary as the man who had introduced Shazia to her master would keep her salary.
“Shazia’s parents were not allowed to meet her. They did not know what she was going through,” said Razia Bibi who went on to tell our correspondent that most of Christian domestic servants face physical and sexual abuse on a day-to-day basis.
She appealed to the government to ensure protection of Christian working women.
Shazia succumbed to her injuries in the hospital on Friday, January 22, 2010, prompting Christians in Lahore city and local human rights organizations, including Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan, to stage a protest demonstration outside Provincial Assembly of Punjab Lahore on Saturday, January 23, 2010.
Johnson confided to an ANS correspondent that the alleged torture had left some 12 to 13 marks of injury on deceased’s body.
“Shazia was admitted to the hospital with a broken jaw,” said Johnson.
Abuse of domestic workers’ rights
Johnson told ANS that 99 percent of young Christian girls from impoverished backgrounds work as domestic servants. “These girls do menial jobs to eke out a living but they are often physically and sexually abused,” he said. “In some cases, their masters marry them with Muslim servants and forcibly convert them to Islam.”
He maintained: “These vulnerable Christian girls do not have any state protection. We urge the government to ensure protection of these disadvantaged girls.”
Mr. Shahzad Kamran, Coordinator of the Vast Vision Ministry has also vehemently condemned the torture on the young girl which is believed to have resulted in her death.
Hina Gill, Program Officer of the Vast Vision Ministry in a statement said: “We appeal to the government to ensure protection of female Christian servants especially young Christian girls who are more prone to intimidation and attacks by their masters”.
According to Pakistan media reports, Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan has taken notice of Shazia’s death and announced 500,000 Pakistani rupees ($5,926.98 US Dollars) as compensation.
The reports also said that Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab, has also taken notice of the incident and has asked the Christians to “stay calm.”
According to some Pakistani media reports Police have arrested the accused.
ANS has learnt that despite media reports suggesting the arrest of the accused, the Christian residents of Lahore and, in particular, the family members of the deceased, have said they would only believe that the accused has been arrested if he is shown on electronic media.
The deceased is likely to be laid to rest on Monday, January 25, 2010.
Source: Christian minor dies from alleged torture by her Muslim masters
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So inhuman and so sad. My prayers are for the family that God may give them peace.
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What has she done to be treated like this? Poor girl endured such difficult and torturous time. May Jesus accept her in His arms to comfort her, console her and heal her wounds.
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