Christian persecution: Nurse ‘tortured by mob’ after being falsely accused of blasphemy

Pakistan: Christian nurse Tabeeta Nazir Gill attacked in Karachi

Tabitha Nazir Gill was attacked by colleagues at the Sobhraj Maternity Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, in a horrific incident caught on camera. The head nurse had worked at the hospital for nine years but faced accusations of blasphemy after challenging a co-worker for accepting money from a patient.

According to local reports, Ms Gill had implemented a rule banning staff from receiving money from people using the hospital service.

However, after witnessing a co-worker breaking the rule, she admonished them – before being quickly accused herself of blasphemy, a major crime in Pakistan.

Shocking footage shared on social media showed a group of people in the hospital surrounding and hitting the woman.

One man tried to climb through a window to get to the woman, who was shouting out in fear and pain.

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Other shocking reports said the nurse was tied up by the mob, tortured and locked inside a room before she was taken to the police station.

Journalist Naila Inayat tweeted: “Gill on Thursday was beaten up by hospital staff who alleged she passed derogatory remarks.

“Police dismissed charge earlier as vendetta.

“Today police registered case after mob surrounded the station.”

In Pakistan, there are strict blasphemy laws which carry a death penalty for people who insult the Prophet Muhammad, Islam, the Quran or certain holy people.

However, as around 98 percent of the population follow Islam, critics say the law targets members of other religious groups including Christianity and Hinduism.

Last year, a village in Pakistan was forced to remove the cross from a church under construction following threats from locals.

One Christian resident in the Baloki village said: “We constructed three floors of minarets on a church and fixed the cross on top of that.

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“However, it was removed after we received threats from local Muslims.

“The Muslims demanded we remove the cross and all three floors of the minarets, therefore, we had to obey them.

“Now, the building does not look like a church.

“It’s just a room and therefore we are sad.”

Human rights groups have attacked Pakistan as one of the most oppressive places in the world for Christians.

Open Doors, a non-profit group protecting Christians, ranked Pakistan as the world’s fifth-worst country for extreme religious persecution of Christians.

Global Human Rights Defence, a charity against mistreatment of minorities, said that Pakistan’s Christians and Hindus are subject to discrimination regularly.

GHRD’s 2019 report on human rights violations said: “For decades members of religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as separate and unequal citizens.

“The constitution and laws of this Islamic Republic are interpreted as preferential towards Muslims.”

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