A distressing incident unfolded in Dogage Town, near the Rangers Headquarters in Lahore, leading to the arrest of a Christian couple on blasphemy charges.
On September 8, 2023, the Lahore police registered a case against Shaukat Masih and Kiran Masih, residents of Dogage Town, under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPP). The complaint was lodged by their neighbor, Mohammad Tamoor.
Fortunately, the police intervened in time to prevent any untoward incident or lynching of the Christian couple. The police arrested the couple, thereby saving their lives from the extremist individuals who had gathered, demanding the death of the alleged blasphemers.
Voice for Justice Chairperson Joseph Jansen strongly condemned the barbaric attack by individuals on Kiran Masih in front of her minor children and the vigilante-style justice they attempted to dispense. He highlighted the exploitation of blasphemy allegations against religious minorities and called for those who incite or engage in violence based on such allegations to be brought to justice.
Jansen stressed the urgency of addressing the deteriorating condition of religious minorities in Pakistan, emphasizing the need for immediate action and intervention to protect the rights, safety, and security of all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Human rights activist Ashik Naz expressed deep concern over the alarming escalation of religious intolerance, discrimination, and violence against religious minorities in Pakistan.
Nadia Stephen, a women's rights activist, stressed the critical need for the government to ensure proper investigations by senior police officials before registering a case. She also emphasized the importance of ensuring that accused individuals are not unjustly punished based on mere allegations.