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ICC Note:

Shama and Shahzad Masih, a Christian couple brutally murdered in 2014 after being accused of blasphemy, are being remembered in a week of prayer starting on the anniversary of their deaths. According to reports, the Christian couple was accused of burning pages of the Quran at a brick kiln where they worked. Following the accusation, a mob gathered and beat the Christian couple before burning them alive in the brick kiln’s furnace. Accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan are extremely dangerous, especially when religious minorities are accused. Often, accusations precipitate outbreaks of communal violence. 

11/09/2017 Pakistan (Asia News) – Three years after the brutal killing of Shama and Shahzad Masih, a young Christian couple, the Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation (CICF) held a week of prayer to remember them.

The Foundation also used the occasion to appeal to Pakistani authorities to ensure the “security and protection of all its citizens regardless of faith, caste or gender [. . .] as enshrined in the Constitution”.

Since the death of the couple, the foundation has been responsible for the education of three of their orphaned children, whilst a fourth child was adopted by an uncle.

On November 4, 2014, at Kot Radha Kishan in Kasur District (about 60km from Lahore), a crowd of more than 400 people stoned Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama, then burnt them alive in a furnace. Shama was pregnant when the couple was accused of blasphemy.

A colleague of Shahzad, working at a kiln factory, claimed to have seen Shama burn pages of the Qurʾān.

In the statement issued by the Foundation, President Michelle Chaudhry mentioned the horror that “will remain in our hearts and minds”.

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