Feb 16 2010
PAKISTAN: MUSLIMS threaten to "burn alive" any lawyer who takes the case of murdered 12-year-old Christian girl
No lawyer comes forward to defend Shazia Bashir, the 12-year-old servant girl murdered by her MUSLIM employer. The powerful association of lawyers in Lahore, arrayed in defense of the murderer, launches death threats and prevents access to the Court.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Because of the threats posed by the powerful Lahore Bar Association – an umbrella organization of city lawyers – no Christian or Muslim lawyer is ready to take on the defense in the murder of 12 year-old Shazia Bashir, it was reported yesterday by The Pakistani Christian association that deals with legal assistance. Christian Association condemns this new form of terrorism.
The girl, of Christian faith, died on Jan. 23 as a result of violence – even sexual – at the hands of her employer, a wealthy and powerful Muslim lawyer in Lahore.The alleged murderess, Chaudhry Mohammad Naeem, is a former president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association. The girl, just 12 years old, had worked as a maid in the home of Naeem in the last six months.
The Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) denounces that access to the courtroom where the court hearings were held against the accused was denied, because a group of Muslim lawyers (pictured below) ‘prevented’ entry. The association is fighting – for free – for the rights of the poorest and marginalized groups has been threatened by thousands of lawyers – friends of the murderer – that promise to burn alive anyone who wants to represent the victim in court. “
M. Joseph Francis, director of Claas, asked members of civil society, political and religious leaders to rise up and take steps to “condemn this new form of terrorism” by lawyers who “should ensure justice.” The Pakistani newspaper The News reported that on Feb. 4, the police conducted the accused to the courts amid “tight security. And, as usual, officials prevented journalists and relatives of victims to come into the hall for “security reasons.” ASIA NEWS