Pakistan Grants Bail to Six More Muslims in Anti-Christian Violence

( [email protected] ) Oct 14, 2009 01:13 PM EDT

Human rights group reported that a Pakistani court had granted bail Monday to six more Muslims accused of inciting and carrying out attacks against Christians in Gojra where 11 Christians were killed and over 60 Christian homes burned down.

According to Washington D.C.-based International Christian Concern (ICC), the district and sessions court of Toba Tek Singh city in Punjab province released Muhammad Adnan, Muhammad Ammar, Muhammad Safdar, Ali Raza, Javed-ur-Rehman and Amer Hayyat after each of them posted bail in the amount of 50,000 Pakistani Rupee (U.S. $600).

This latest release came after 13 Muslims were granted bail by a Lahore high court on 7 September including radical clerics.

In both the cases, they were tried for the violence against Christians on Aug. 1, when a Muslim mob allegedly instigated by Islamic militants attacked Christian homes in Gojra in Punjab province alleging that Christians had desecrated Koran, the holy book of Muslims. 11 Christians were killed in the violence, more than 60 homes and two Churches were burnt down in the process.

The court ruling has surprised the minority Christians in the country who makes up less than 3 percent of the 180 million population of Pakistan.

“I am sure that soon after securing their release, they will resume their anti-Christianity activities again,” said Khalid Gill, one of the leaders of All Pakistani Minorities Alliance (APMA) was quoted as saying by ICC. APMA is a major Christian political party in Pakistan.

ICC, the human rights group promoting religious freedom around the world and that has been the voice of persecuted Christians has condemned the ruling as a “wrong message to the extremists”.

ICC’s Jonathan Racho said, “We are disappointed with the decision of the Pakistani court to release the fanatics responsible for carnage against Christians in Gojra. We are concerned with the impunity with which Muslims are allowed to commit violence against Christians. This latest release sends the wrong message to extremists who are waiting to perpetrate more violence against Christian minorities in Pakistan.”

The human rights group has requested Christians to contact the embassy of Pakistan in their respective countries and protest the release of the perpetrators of attacks against Christians.