Nine Christians of Youhanabad released on bail from prison

Nasir Saeed

Nine Pakistani Christians who were arrested after being accused of being involved in the aftermath of the Youhanabad tragedy have been granted bail.

They were met by CLAAS upon leaving jail and taken to its office which is next to Youhanabad.

At the office they had a thanksgiving prayer before going to their homes happy, despite some of them having lost hope, as their families were not allowed to see them.

Unfortunately the police has registered six FIRs against unknown people, therefore it arrests any Christian from Youhanabad when it pleases.

That is why normalcy has not been restored as people are still scared of returning home.

Joseph Francis Director CLAAS-PK filed a writ petition before the Lahore High Court for the recovery of detained persons, the police produced them before the Anti-Terrorism Court who sent them to the judicial lockup at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

During the arguments in court, CLAAS’s lawyer Mr. Tahir Bashir argued that the all accused were innocent; and that no specific role had been attributed to each.

Moreover, the accused had been identified by the police through CCTV footage and in the circumstances, the identification parade has no weight in the eyes of law.

In March two bomb blasts at churches in Youhanabad claimed 17 lives, leaving several others injured, and people are still trying to
recover.

Following the attacks, Christians across the country took to the streets to protest, and some reports even suggest that they burnt alive those they believed to be involved in the attacks.

In response to this, the police started indiscriminately arresting Christians and putting them in jail. Many are still unaccounted for, and CLAAS is working to find out what has happened to them.

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