Urgent Appeal for Action on Murder of Christian Teenager and other Attacks on Religious Minorities in Pakistan

Jubilee Campaign NL calls on the EU Ambassador to use her diplomatic influence to ensure justice for victims of violence motivated by religious hatred in Pakistan, following the brutal murder of 14-year-old Christian boy Sunil Masih.

9th February 2024

H.E. Dr Riina Kionka
Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan.

Your Excellency Dr. Kionka,

We are writing to bring to your attention a matter of grave concern regarding the recent tragic incident in Gujranwala, Pakistan, which involves the brutal murder of a 14-year-old Christian boy, Sunil Masih, a student in the eighth grade. The incident occurred in the Mandiala Warraich area and was perpetrated by a group of Muslim assailants driven by religious hatred.

On February 5th, six Muslim men, armed with pistols were openly threatening Christians. They opened fire on a group of believers, leading to the death of the young Sunil Masih. According to the First Information Report (FIR no 226/24), the assailants, identified as Zaman Butt, Anas Yaseen, Adil Abdul Rehman, Ashraf Inayat Ullah, and two unidentified individuals, arrived on motorcycles. Adil, one of the assailants, declared that no Christian in the area should be spared, resulting in Zaman opening fire on Sunil, fatally striking him in the chest.

Despite Sunil’s parents rushing him to a local hospital, he succumbed to his injuries before medical treatment could commence, marking a heartbreaking loss.

Regrettably, this incident is not isolated, as similar attacks on religious minorities have occurred in the past. On November 9, 2023, a man shot Farhan Ul Qamar, a 20-year-old Christian medical technician student, to death in his house in Talwandi Inayat Khan village, Pasrur Tehsil of Sialkot District. The assailant, Muhammad Zubair, held Farhan’s family hostage at gunpoint for nearly 40 minutes, preventing them from reaching their fatally injured son.

The perpetrators involved in the murder of Sunil Masih fled the scene, issuing threats to the Christian community, and as of now, they remain at large.

These incidents represent not only attacks on individuals but also direct assaults on the rights of all religious minorities and on human rights in Pakistan. The assassination of Sunil Masih and Farhan have instilled fear in all those belonging to minorities in Pakistan. It is imperative that the government responds promptly by apprehending, prosecuting, and convicting the criminals for their heinous acts.

We urge you to use your diplomatic influence to ensure that the Government of Pakistan takes immediate action to bring the suspects involved in these attacks, including the murderers of Sunil Masih, to justice. Furthermore, we request measures to protect the right to life and the right to freedom of religion for all citizens.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Joseph Jansen
Jubilee Campaign the Netherlands