An eight-year-old Hindu boy in Pakistan has become the youngest victim as yet to suffer under that country’s draconian and wholly undemocratic blasphemy law.
The Hindu boy in Bhong village in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab had been charged with blasphemy; which can carry a mandatory death penalty. He was alleged to have urinated in the library of a madrasa (where religious texts were kept, prompting a mob attack on a local Hindu temple.
The unnamed victim is just the latest in a plethora of such. Minorities in Pakistan are often the targets of the blasphemy law.
As well as Hindus, we have seen the larger Christian minority becoming victims of petty jealousy or just plain hate under this law. Even Muslims such as the Ahmadiyyas and Shias have fallen foul under this mechanism under which few can expect justice. For this reason Hindu Human Rights Group is urging that all those concerned for the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan come out in support of the latest victim of the country’s unjust blasphemy law.
We urge all those who are concerned for the plight of children to support and make their voices heard for the eight-year old boy whose life risks being cut very short. This is a drastic new departure in how even this menacing blasphemy law has been used on minorities. Hindu minors, especially girls, have previously been abducted for forcible conversion by members of the majority community, cut off from their families and made to renounce their Hindu past.
Now in a radical and dangerous move, a Hindu child has been marked for death under mechanisms which crush the very rights of minorities in Pakistan. While the charges against the boy have now been dropped, he remains in protective police custody for his own safety. Experience shows that even if charges are dropped, the mere allegation of blasphemy against anyone still exposes them to vigilante justice at the hands of the mob.
Hence the child is still not out of danger and his plight needs to be highlighted and all measures taken to ensure the safety of him and his family. Please show your support for the persecuted child on Sunday 15 August, at the Pakistan High Commission, 34-36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN at 2pm. Make your voice heard against injustice.
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