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ICC Note:

A Christian girl in Pakistan was beaten and called untouchable by school authorities after being accused of using a “Muslim toilet”. Across Pakistan Christians face discrimination because of their religious identity. In this instance, the Christian girl accused of using the Muslims-only toilet was accused of making the toilets unclean because of her untouchable status as a Christian. Complaints have been filed and an investigation has been called for, but there is little likelihood that this will lead to any real change. 

11/16/2015 Pakistan (Pakistan Today) – The untouchable status of Christians in Pakistan became very apparent in recent days when an 8 year old girl, Sara Bibi, was scolded, beaten and locked in school washrooms allegedly by her head teacher in a fit of rage that a ‘kaffir’ (infidel) Christian dared to use the same toilet as Muslims.

Sara Bibi has now been excluded from Government Girls Primary School in Samundari near Faisalabad, Punjab, where she was a year 3 pupil.  Reports suggest the innocent girl was accused by other classmates who had been offended by the actions of a ‘choora’ Christian who had polluted their toilets, highlighting how the hatred towards Christians is cemented into young minds at a very nascent phase. This pariah status of Christians is prevalent in Pakistan. Headmistress of the school, Zahida Rana has been accused of locking Sara in the bathroom, the principal then shouted aggressively at her: “You are a Christian, an infidel. How dare you use the same toilet as Muslim girls?

Despite vigorously pleading her innocence Sara was beaten and only released from the washroom 3 hours later at the end of the school day, much to the chagrin of her family. Local Christians have strongly condemned the principal’s ‘inhuman behavior’

After Senator Sherry Rehman highlighted the incident during a session in the Senate of Pakistan, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, Senator Raza Rabbani ordered an inquiry into the attack but few humanitarians in Pakistan believe much will come of the enquiry, as previous similar responses have had little effect. Leader of the House Raja Muhammad Zafarul told the House that he had received an initial report regarding the incident. He said that the report failed to satisfy him and so he directed the Executive District Officer to meet the Christian girl and her parents himself and then report back to him. A local police official, Muhammad Afzal, said they had not received a complaint but that action would be taken if a grievance were filed. Thus far no corrective action has been taken.

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