08/25/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Four members of a Christian family in Gujrat, Pakistan have been charged with murder after defending their daughter from sexual assault. According to a local political leader, the family has been denied the “right to defend” themselves by police.
According to Ahsan Masih Sindhu, a local political leader in Gujrat, Maskeen Khan and two companions, all Muslims, attacked the home of Bahadur Masih on August 16. Wielding a knife, Khan and his companions attempted to rape Masih’s 26-year-old daughter Rachel, but were stopped by Masih and other family members.
“Since the Christian family was defending themselves, Khan also got some injuries,” Sindhu reported. “The family handed Khan over to police and he got medical treatment. However, he later died in police custody.”
Later that day, police arrested four members of the Masih family and charged them with murdering Khan. Other members of the family have reportedly gone into hiding because they are facing threats of violence from Khan’s relatives.
“We are sad about the death of Khan, however, the Christian family did have the right to defend,” Sindhu explained. “The police must conduct a fair investigation into this incident.”
Women from religious minority communities in Pakistan are often the targets of sexual violence because their lower status as minorities make them easy targets. According to a study done by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan in 2014, 1,000 Christian and Hindu women and girls are abducted, raped, forcefully converted Islam, and forcefully married to their rapist each year.
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