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ICC Note:

A Christian family in Pakistan was falsely accused of blasphemy on June 30 and publicly shamed before their village. Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are widely abused and often accusations are used for personal reasons such as to settle personal scores. Unfortunately due to the incident, it is unlikely that the family will able to return to their home and village.  

07/02/15 Pakistan (UNCAN)-A Christian family in Pakistan’s Punjab province was beaten and paraded through a village on Tuesday by a Muslim mob after being accused of blasphemy, activists and police say.

During their ordeal the family’s heads were shaved, they added.

The alleged assault took place in Chak 460, a village in Sheikhupura district, some 30 kilometers from Punjab’s provincial capital Lahore.

Trouble flared after Owais Qamar, a Christian laborer, found a banner by a roadside and took it home to use as a carpet, police said.

The banner had the logo of the University of Sargodha with the words Hadith (Oh my Lord, increase me in my knowledge), written on it.

A Muslim woman, Kaneezan Bibi, accused the family of blasphemy after seeing the banner in the family’s home during a visit.

Soon after, a mob beat Qamar, his wife, Rukhsana, and sister-in-law Rehana.

Two village guards then shaved their heads and paraded them through the village on donkeys, an act of humiliation practiced in Pakistan, police said.

Their ordeal only ended when police arrived, Dr Riaz, Chairman of Alhpa Human Rights Care Association, told ucanews.com.

“The mob wanted to kill the Christians and file a blasphemy complaint against them, but Sheikhupura Police Chief Sohail Zafar Chatta defused the situation and persuaded the mob to withdraw their demand,” he said.

The Christian family was later whisked away from the village.

Farooq Ranjha, station house officer at the Saddar Police Station in Sheikhupura, confirmed the incident.

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