Press Release September 25, 2002
Pakistani Christians Brutally Murdered
in Karachi Office Building
(Karachi, Pakistan – September 25, 2002) Today seven Pakistani Christians working for the Adara Aman-o-Insaf (Peace and Justice Institute), a human rights organization in Karachi, were brutally murdered by two armed men who shot the Christians in the head at point blank range. Eyewitnesses said two men forcibly entered the premises of the Peace and Justice Institute, an unmarked office on the 3rd floor of the Rimpa Plaza. Police believe the men then bound and gagged the Christian workers. Their bodies were found sitting in chairs and it appeared they had been shot in the head with pistols from a close range. Six of the men died instantly. Another died awhile later at a main Karachi hospital. At least two other men were wounded in the incident.
According to those familiar with the Peace and Justice Institute, the group focused on social and labor issues, helping workers to obtain basic rights. The group also published a magazine, which had recently featured an article on the country’s blasphemy laws.
This deadly attack marks the fifth deliberate attack on Christians in Pakistan since the US began efforts to bring down the Taliban regime and capture Al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. In October 2001 and March 2002 churches in Bahawalpur and Islamabad were stormed by armed assailants. During August of this year a Christian school and then a hospital suffered similar attacks. After each of these incidents the Pakistani government beefed up security around Christian churches and institutions, thus forcing militants to choose new fronts for their deadly assaults. Already tense from the past attacks, the Pakistani Christian community is now feeling especially vulnerable since they do not know when or where militants might attack.
The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC), strongly condemned the murders and demanded the immediate capture and arrest of those responsible. ICC also encouraged Christians everywhere to pray for their brothers and sisters in Pakistan and express their outrage at the murder of innocent Christian citizens. Pakistani President Musharraf may be contacted at the following e-mail address: [email protected].
International Christian Concern, a Washington, DC based human rights organization, advocates and aids Christians undergoing persecution worldwide. More information is available at www.www.persecution.org or by calling the ICC office at (301) 989-1708.