Two Christians Accused of Lahore Lynchings after Church Bombings
ICC Note: Shortly after the suicide bombings that took place outside two churches in Lahore, Pakistan nearly two weeks ago, mob violence broke out leading to the lynching of two suspects. Two Christian brothers, Sohail and Yousaf Johnson have recently been charged with the lynchings based upon footage taken from a cell phone. These arrests took place in the midst of a string of arrests that have not properly followed the process of law and their involvement in the crime is not yet clear.
By Mark Woods
03/26/2015 Pakistan (Christian Today) – Two Christians have been accused of lynching people suspected of being responsible for the terrorist attack on churches in Lahore a fortnight ago.
Mob violence broke out after the attacks, in which 17 were killed and more than 80 injured, with Christians protesting that the authorities had failed to protect them. Two suspects were lynched and their bodies burned, and further protests resulted in the deaths of 25 people and the arrest of around 150 protesters.
Among them were Sohail and Yousaf Johnson, two brothers, who have been charged with the killings of the two suspects on the basis of mobile phone footage.
Sohail is the founder and head of the charity Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan, which has a prison ministry.
Stuart Windsor, special ambassador for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, told Christian Today: “We’re deeply concerned about the killing of the two innocent Muslims, which cannot be excused. This is a terrible thing and it has set Christian-Muslim relations back ages.”
He called for the release of the other Christians who have been arrested over the lynching and subsequent rioting, saying: “Many arrests have not followed the process of law. Many innocent people have been held – none of them are terrorists and accusing them of terrorism is ridiculous.”
He said that he “feared” for the two brothers who have been accused of the killing because of the poor record of the Pakistan judiciary and police in its treatment of minorities.
“Their record is not good, and we would need to pray that they will get due process,” he said. “We can’t excuse the killings and we don’t expect Christians to take up bombs and guns, but it needs to be the right people who are brought to justice.”