A Christian staff nurse was beaten and held hostage by her colleagues in a Karachi hospital on suspicion of committing blasphemy, an act that is punishable with death under Pakistan’s law.
The video of the incident, shot from a cellphone by someone present there, has gone viral on the social media platforms and is being shared extensively by netizens.
The victim is the 30-year-old woman identified as Tabia, who had been working in the private hospital for nine years.
In the video, a man is seen climbing up to a ventilator, probably to reach Tabita who is held hostage in the room. According to Pakistan Christian News, Tabia’s hands were tied by her colleagues and she was locked in the room till the police arrived. the video is posted on the Twitter by the Voice of Minorities in Pakistan
The video clip shows women wearing nurses’ uniforms showering blows on and slapping Tabia in her face. The victim is trying to explain something and her voice is lost in the din.
Tabita is a member of the church choir and the hospital had never received complaint against her so far, PCN said in its report.
The women are seen shoving a piece of paper in Tabita’s face and again hitting her. Someone from the mob that has gathered there says she should write a letter of apology.
According to PCN, Tabita kept saying that she didn’t say anything against Islam or the Prophet and her pleas fell on deaf ears.
Tabita, a #Christian nurse & gospel singer was falsely accused of Blasphemy in Karachi. Later, she was proved innocent and released. But what about these ladies who beaten her. Will they be held accountable?#PakMinoritiesNeedYourSupport pic.twitter.com/eiXKqrbyaf— Voice of Pakistan Minority (@voice_minority) January 29, 2021
PCN report also says she was tied up with ropes and locked in a room before the police were called.
Tabita’s ordeal ended after the arrival of the police. She was taken to the Aram Bagh police station, where, in the presence of a social worker, she explained the situation to them.
The police dismissed the incident as a misunderstanding between Tabia and her colleagues and allowed her to go home.
Tabita has gone into hiding fearing for her life, as several such incidents of public resorting to arson and summary trials of members of minorities in such cases have surfaced in Pakistan in recent years.
Tabitas’s case is a reminder of the tragic fallout of Pakistan’s controversial Blasphemy laws on religious minorities. Both Hindu and Christians are facing the forcible conversions of their young girls while Shias, Hazaras and Ahmdiyas face discriminations and killings by armed groups.
The law is often misused to intimidate the minorities and harass them in Pakistan.
The USA has asked Pakistan to change this controversial law as it impinges on the freedom of minorities. Many Pakistani liberals had dmurder of demanded abrogation of this law. However after broad daylight murder of politician Salman Taseer by his bodyguard for speaking against this law, these voices have gone silent.