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16 August 2017

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02/02/2012 PAKISTAN

Christian human rights activist hurt in attack in Lahore

Shunila Ruth, director of the Talitha Kumi Welfare Centre, was the victim of an attack near her home. Four masked men threatened her of further attacks. Her association defends marginalised women, victims of domestic abuse and rape. Lahore priest blames provincial government for failing to protect minorities.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Four masked men attacked a Christian human rights activist involved in defending women’s rights in Pakistan. The incident occurred yesterday in Lahore (Punjab) near the woman’s home.

Shunila Ruth, director of the Talitha Kumi Welfare Centre (TKWC), was making her way home when a group of men stopped her, threw against a wall and then pushed her down to the ground. This was followed by threats as they warned her of more to come. At present, the victim is recovering from her wounds in hospital.

Human rights activists and associations are increasingly under siege in Pakistan, especially if they defend religious minorities (Christian or Ahmadi) or women, or if they go after strong vested interests or groups that that respond to criticism with violence.

A few days ago, we reported the case of Waseem Shakir, a human rights activist and district coordinator for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in Kot Addu, Muzaffargarh District, who was threatened by police.

Fr Naeem John, from the Archdiocese of Lahore, slammed Shunila Ruth’s attack, calling it a “cowardly act” because it was against a woman.

In response to the incident, he made an appeal to the government of Punjab, even though the latter has “failed to protect the minorities” and has often acted in collusion with their enemies. Case in point: the demolition of a Christian property in Gosh-e-Aman where a Christian woman has had to file an appeal before the High Court in Lahore.

The Talitha Kumi Welfare Centre (TKWC) opened in Lahore in 2001, with support from the Swedish Mission Church, which is closely linked to the Church of Pakistan.

The centre has been fighting for the rights of marginalised women, providing legal aid to the victims of domestic violence, rape and forced marriages.

The organisation had been threatened in the past for its work.





See also

30/01/2012 PAKISTAN
Punjab: Christian activist subject of police threats
Waseem Shakir sued a group of police officers, because they have insulted the Christian faith with insulting phrases. The police turned the matter around and denounced the man with false accusations. Priest in Muzaffargarh: abuse of police power affects the most vulnerable and marginalized.

27/04/2013 PAKISTAN
Ashfaq Fateh, Christians and Muslims mourn the death of a "model of activism"
Like Anthony Mathew and Shahbaz Bhatti, he has "left his mark on the map of Pakistan." His funeral was attended by a "great multitude" without distinction of creed or social class. Close to Fr. Bonnie Mendes, the activist was known for promotion of education and development of the

30/06/2012 PAKISTAN
Christian-Muslim association uses theater to help poor and orphans in Pakistan
Chanan Development Association, since 2004, helping dozens of young people across the country to restore meaning to life through theater. Born out of collaboration between Christians and Muslims, the association also provides educational programs to help the most disadvantaged.

11/08/2017 13:37:00 PAKISTAN
Sister Ruth Pfau dies at the age of 87 after a life serving lepers in Pakistan

She provided assistance to more than 50,000 patients in her 157 centres across the country. Every year, 12,000 patients with tuberculosis are treated and some 7,000 cataract operations are performed. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi announced a state ceremony. Sr Pfau received the highest honours in the Islamic Republic. For Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, "It's a big loss. We must continue her mission."



14/08/2017 15:51:00 PAKISTAN
For Muslims and Christians remember, Sister Ruth Pfau was “shining icon”

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi orders a state funeral for the nun, deemed a national hero. Muslims express their condolences. For writer and researcher Kakkazai Aamir, “we must pray to earn a small place” next to her. Hamza Arshad, a Muslim educator, calls Ruth Pfau “an angel of mercy for Pakistan." Inam Rana, lawyer and editor at the online Mukaalma newspaper, describes the nun as “a symbol of love, humanity and sacrifice." For the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops' Conference, "her services to humanity were a pure manifestation of God's divine love".




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