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Pakistan, Christian journalists being targeted


PAOLO AFFATATO

Source:
Vatican Insider
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
4/8/2015

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ABSTRACTPakistan, Christian journalists being targeted - Vatican Insider LANGUAGE:    Italiano   English      Español www.vaticaninsider.com  :: Thursday 09 April 2015 ::  Home ::  News World News ::  Inquiries and Interviews ::  The Vatican ::  Agenda ::  About us ::  libri 04/ 8/2015  Pakistan, Christian journalists being targeted Tweet (©LaPresse) (©LaPresse) (©LAPRESSE) christian prayer in LAHORE Threats and violence against journalists who report on persecution, in a country where the search for truth can cost you your life Paolo Affatato rome     The threats keep coming. And they prove not to be idle. Christian journalists in Pakistan are a nuisance: too much emphasis and too much news on persecution. It’s time to shut them up.   Today the one to pay the price of the perverse logic of the Islamic fundamentalists in the “land of the pure” is Shamim Masih, a Pakistani Christian journalist committed to uncovering and reporting the suffering of the faithful. His reports on cases of discrimination and violence, such as the stories of believers in Christ who have fallen victim to the blasphemy law, have spread around the world. Several days ago, Shamim was stopped and beaten on the streets of Islamabad by a unit of extremists. He escaped with his life but suffered a broken arm. “Speak no more of the persecution of Christians” was the diktat; death the penalty.   The attack on Shamim – who had a relative among the victims of the recent bomb attack in Youhanabad – was not an isolated incident. Violence is an ordinary means of putting pressure on the free media in Pakistan. Even more so if the journalists profess to be of Christian faith or defend religious minorities, bringing to light stories that would otherwise go unheard, feeding the climate of impunity that reigns supreme in Pakistan.   And at times the aggressors resort to indirect attacks. Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Christian lawyer and journalist and a respected blogger and commentator, lives under severe security measures, given the regular death threats he receives. The extremists, then, could do no better than to target his brother, attacked a few days ago by unidentified assailants as a clear warning to Sardar.   Nazir Bhatti, president of the political party “Pakistan Christian Congress” has stated that: “If such attacks were to befall a Muslim journalist, the police would be quick to investigate and seek out the perpetrators. We expect the same to be done in the cases of Shamim Masih and the brother of Sardar Mushtaq Gill.”   Williams Gomes, a Christian freelance journalist living in Lahore, told Vatican Insider : “With other colleagues we have sent a letter to the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain. The authorities must take all necessary measures to safeguard the integrity and the safety of Shamim Masih and his family. It urges an immediate and impartial investigation in order to apprehend the aggressors. It is the government’s duty to guarantee that journalists are able to report the news and seek out the truth in the coun.......