Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Jeremy Sewall, Advocacy Director
1-800-422-5441, [email protected]

Christian Shot 8 Times for Refusing to Pay Protection Money

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2009) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Christian businessman was shot eight times in the legs while driving through Lahore, Pakistan on July 7 after refusing to pay protection money to a Muslim.

Suqlain Shah, an ex-policeman, and another man, Sudia, stopped Ayub Gill’s car at 2:25 in the afternoon as Ayub was going to buy a property in a nearby town. Ayub’s brother Babar was driving and two other relatives were in the back seat. Suqlain pulled out a gun and dragged Babar out of the driver’s seat, threatening to kill him. Suqlain then got in the driver’s seat and shot Ayub eight times in the legs. After stealing $2,500, they fled on bicycles. Ayub is now recovering in the hospital, but the doctors do not know if he will be able to walk again.

Suqlain, who lives near Ayub, had threatened him a few days earlier, when Ayub had bought a car for his brother. It was the family’s third car. When Suqlain saw that they had three cars, he approached Ayub and demanded money. “You now have three cars, so give me $3,750. You are a wealthy Christian, so it is my right to get as much money as I need from you. If you don’t give it to me I will kill you.”

Immediately following the shooting, Ayub’s brothers went to the police station to submit a report, but it was only accepted after five hours of delay and harassment, partly because Suqlain’s brother is a constable in the police force. The police have taken no action to prosecute this case.

Mobeena, Ayub’s sister, told ICC, “Suqlain is still free and hanging around. The government has done nothing to help us, even though my brother is a prominent businessman. We feel insecure, our children are too scared to go out anymore – please help us, we need justice.”

When ICC contacted the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C., embassy officials denied any knowledge of the incident and stated, “Pakistani police stations do not ask if someone is Muslim or Christian – they don’t discriminate on that basis.” However, according to ICC sources, police regularly ascertain religious affiliation for identification even though it is not required on report forms.

Please call your Pakistani embassy to ask for justice for Ayub Gill and his family.

Pakistan Embassies:

USA: (202) 243-6500
Canada: (613) 238-7881
UK: 0870-005-6967

# # #

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address, www.www.persecution.org.