Gender Justice

Urgent Call for Justice: The Heartbreaking Case of Shabana Masih

shabana

In July 2012, a deeply troubling incident occurred in the Tehsil District of Okara, Pakistan, that calls for international attention and urgent action. Shabana Masih, a 16-year-old Christian girl and native of 55/2-L, faced horrifying violations of her human rights perpetrated by an individual named Anwar Boota, who has since adopted the Islamic name Muhammad Umar.

Abduction and Forced Conversion

Shabana was forcibly removed from her home on the 1st of July 2012 by Boota, a 45-year-old converted Muslim closely associated with the radical cleric Dr. Mian Abdul Sami Haqqani. Following her abduction, Shabana endured repeated instances of sexual assault and was tortured. During her harrowing ordeal, she was coerced into imprinting her thumb on various documents against her will.

Family’s Struggle for Justice

The distress signaled by Shabana’s disappearance prompted her father, Ghulam Masih, to lodge a formal complaint at the Sadar Police Station in Okara. On the 4th of July, a First Information Report (FIR No. 627/12) was filed against Anwar Boota. Despite these legal steps, the local police were unsupportive. When Shabana miraculously escaped two months later and along with her father and supporters approached the station for help, the investigation officer, Haji Abdul Ghafoor, not only refused to record her statement but also threatened to implicate Ghulam in a criminal case and press blasphemy charges against Shabana unless they withdrew their accusations.

Escalation and Legal Battles

Taking advantage of his connections, Anwar Boota managed to obtain pre-arrest bail with the assistance of Dr. Haqqani and some factions within the local police by presenting falsified documents that declared Shabana had converted to Islam on July 2, 2012. Dr. Haqqani even testified in court claiming that Shabana had willingly converted and married Boota.

In October 2012, desperate for justice and safety, Ghulam Masih and Shabana sought the legal services of Mr. Nadeem Hassan, who subsequently filed a petition in the High Court of Lahore challenging Anwar Boota’s actions.

A Plea to the International Community

This case is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by minority communities in Pakistan, particularly Christian girls who are disproportionately targeted for abduction, conversion, and abuse. We call upon the international community to raise their voices in support of those who are defenseless and to help ensure that such injustices are brought to light.

Take Action

It is essential for global awareness and intervention to protect the rights and freedoms of persecuted minorities. We urge readers to keep the Christians of Pakistan in your prayers and to actively engage in advocacy efforts to support human rights initiatives in the region.

*Original article from ECSPE.org*

To learn more about how you can help or to get involved in supporting similar causes, please peruse our website. Stand with us in defending the rights and dignity of all individuals. Your voice matters.

By Max Gibson

Max Gibson, also known as Mosheh, holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and has competed on his college's crew, cross country and track and field teams. Max co-founded the College Republicans and has run successful businesses, including Apex Web Services, which serves as CTO for non-profits Farrukh Saif Foundation and 'Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved.' He has been in a leadership position in the non-profit sector since 2011. In addition to his business pursuits, Max is a combat veteran of three major wars and is known for his generosity and strong belief in God.
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