Punjab:From last week,there is a local Muslim cleric who is campaigning against a Christian ‘Saint Paul High School’ which is serving the both Christian-Muslim Children from last 20 years.
LEAD has taken a Catholic School on rental contract from Catholic Board of Education and Mr.Zulifqar Masih,a Human Rights Defender and Field Co-Ordinator Of LEAD is serving as a Principal of this school,both Children Christian-Muslim of surrounding villages, are getting education since the School established.
On 15 March,2014,after vacation of School,three unidentified armed persons forcibly entered into School and started beating and torturing Human Rights Defender,Mr.Zulifqar Masih,the Principal of School and two Women Rights Defenders Mrs.Zulifqar and Mrs.Imran.The attackers also took away some school documents and one Laptop and they also threaten them to close the school otherwise,they would have to face dire consequences including kidnapping and killing.
Mr.Zulfqar has informed and filed a complaint against the three unknown persons in the concern police station and the police officials assured to take legal action against the culprits.
On 12 March,2014 about 7:40 PM while Mrs.Imran along with Mr.Qaiser Younas was coming back home from one women workshop on the topic’Women Sexual Harassment at work place’ two armed men stopped them on road and threaten to stop such kind of programme and warned that if they did not leave the village within five days they would be killed.The police have yet to act on our requests for protection and legal action against the culprits.
LEAD’s Women Rights Defenders,Mrs.Imran and Mrs.Zulifqar are also raising voice against the violation of women Rights in Pakistan.They raised the issue of pregnant women who worked on brick kilns during their pregnancy which is much danger for the health of both Mother-Child,they campaign and train the women about their personal and legal rights and how they can get aware about their security at work place and in homes.They are also supporters of the marriage of woman with her free consent and will which is also a major issue in Pakistan.These two women rights defenders also got direct threats while supporting the women who ran away from their homes after coming to know that their marriage being done without their free consent or with some old men.
We have deeply concerned for the safety of the human rights defenders Mr.Zulifqar Masih and two women Rights Defenders Mrs.Imran and Mrs.Zulifqar along with other staffs of LEAD taking into account that three members of LEAD who are working for educational project of LEAD and to have defended the rights of women .
We condemn this attack and the threats made against staff members of LEAD which are directly related to the organisation’s work in the defence of human rights particularly Christian and women’s rights.