"As soon as they saw me, the police officers led by Ijaz started hurling insults and curses at me. They threatened to tear my clothes if I did not admit the alleged theft, but when I refused, they pulled my hair and started beating me mercilessly."
Asma Gulfam is a Christian housekeeper who lives in Pakistan. Five months pregnant and already the mother of four children, she was beaten and held captive for a week.
Last April, five months pregnant, Asma warned her employers that she had to quit her job because of a health problem. But they refuse.
On April 18, they will then accuse him of having stolen one million rupees, or about 3200 euros. Asma denies this, but she is then forcibly taken to a room where a deputy police inspector, Ijaz Ahmed, and three other police officers were waiting with her employer. She tells the Morning Star News:
"As soon as they saw me, the police officers led by Ijaz started hurling abuse and curses at me, they threatened to tear my clothes if I did not admit the alleged theft, but when I refused, they pulled my hair and started beating me mercilessly. During the torture, Ijaz also tried to pull out my fingernails. I was held hostage in Huda's house the whole time and I I was tortured several times my attackers blamed me for being a Christian and said no one could save me from them until I confessed the false allegation".
Her husband, Gulfam Masih, went to complain to the police. He was then kept in illegal detention for a week, according to Asma's testimony.
He was finally able to find his wife, and took her to the hospital. "My unborn child's life was in serious danger due to internal bleeding, but the doctors managed to save her," she said.
For Imran Sahotra of the Maseehi Bedari Tehreek (Christian Awakening Movement), "the case shows how the vulnerable Christian community does not have access to justice in Pakistan".
"The Muslim family used their influence to dismiss Asma's complaint of her torture, then filed a fake FIR against the couple to 'teach them a lesson. (...) The policeman must be punished, because the poor woman could have lost her unborn child or even died herself because of her torture."
This is a usual pattern for him.
"Many poor Christians fall victim to false allegations, including blasphemy, if they choose to stop working for their Muslim employers. The pattern is quite similar when you look at such cases. Our people will continue to suffer persecution at unless we come together as a community and raise a collective voice against this oppression and demand justice"