Sunday, March 3, 2013

Female Christian Servant Tortured by Police on Allegation of Theft

Lahore, March 1, 2013. 

A Christian has been implicated in a theft case for allegedly stealing from a family that she had been a servant for, for over eight years. The accusers have alleged the stolen amount to approximate 550,000 PKR ($5758 CAN). 

On 13 February 2013, a theft complaint was filed against Arshad Bibi (age 35), domestic servant of a wealthy Muslim family, at the police station of Muslim Town, Lahore (FIR No.52/13 under section 380 PPC) by the master of the house Lady Zahida Perveen. Perveen stated that items including jewelry had been stolen from a cabinet which was locked. She told police that she believed it was her female servant, a Christian woman who stole the items. 

Arshad BiBi was taken into custody and told LEAD (a Christian relief organization) that the police had abused and tortured her and forced her into a confession. She denied ever having stolen anything from the accuser.

The police did not complete any investigation and registered an FIR without any evidence, based on the Muslim woman's word.

On 25 February 2013, Arshad Bibi was miraculously released on bail when the police was pressured by LEAD for having no evidence against her. LEAD and Arshad Bibi's family are hoping that her trial will provide some justice to this poor woman.

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