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Pakistan: Christians protest release of girl’s alleged murderer

Catholic World News - February 18, 2010

Appealing to the nation’s chief justice, Christians in Pakistan are protesting a judge’s decision to release the suspected murderer of a 12-year-old Catholic girl on bail. The suspect is a prominent Muslim attorney in Lahore.

Shazia Bashir, who was brutally beaten, raped, and murdered last month, was the victim of child trafficking, according to Pakistani Catholic sources. The girl had worked as the attorney’s servant.

“The issue is particularly thorny because it surrounds a man of law, a person who should pursue justice, and instead has become complicit in criminal actions,” a source said. The attorney had purchased a “little slave-maid” from a child trafficker who had told Bashir’s family that he could help find her employment.

“Children are taken from their poor families, often Christian, with the illusion that they will find dignified work among middle-class families,” Fides reported. “They are then sold to these families, becoming ‘little slaves’ at the mercy of their employers, losing their freedom, and living practically under arrest.”

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