The police have
made no significant progress in apprehending the
murderers of Fr. George Ibrahim, even though Bishop
Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, accompanied by the Joint
Action Committee, approached high civil and police
In accordance with their claim that the armed murders
were thieves, the police have charged four persons
with the murder of Fr. George. The circumstantial
evidence presented by the police is very weak and the
four accused claim to be innocent. Meanwhile, a
number of Christians and Muslims can bear witness
that the former headmistress of a convent school had
threatened Fr. George with 'dire consequences' on a
number of occasions.
The four accused are being held in Sahiwal jail, a
city about 50 kilometers from Renala Khurd, and the
town where Fr.George was murdered. The Justice and
Peace Commission of the Catholic Church of Faisalabad
is currently following the case, and have already
appealed in the High court for the acquittal of the
four accused persons. No date for the court hearing
has been set so far.
The Justice & Peace Commission has expressed its
dissatisfaction with the police's inefficiency in
pursuing the matter. Protest walks, rallies, prayer
services and press conferences have been held in over
a dozen cities in Pakistan to encourage police action.
It is hoped that, now that the matter is before the
High Court, there is a better chance of obtaining a
fair trial and acquittal of the innocent.
Christians and minorities in Pakistan have been
vulnerable to violence in the past few years. Hotline
issued UA030818(7) calling for a proper
investigation into the murder case and highlighting
the lack of protection against violence for
Christians and minorities.
Justice and Peace Commission of