Sunday, July 19, 2009

World Seeks Release of Human Right Activist Joseph Francis

Withdraw all cases and release Joseph Francis. PCCLahore: July 18, 2009. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have demanded Punjab government to withdraw all cases against Joseph Francis and release him immediately from jail because there is widespread unrest among Pakistani Christian who are terming it as revenge of government.

“Joseph Francis is an asset of Pakistani Christians because he is serving persecution victims from two decades without fear under an independent human right establishment CLAAS’ said Nazir Bhatti.

Nazir Bhatti added “Joseph Francis as a head of Pakistan Christian National Party was an ally of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP since 1973, but withdrew his support for PPP during elections of 2008, on difference with leadership on which PPP government planned to punish him and his imprisonment is viewed as revenge by Pakistani Christians”

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti appealed to Chief Justice of Lahore High Court to form a special Committee to investigate facts of FIR filed against Joseph Francis to ensure justice.

Nazir Bhatti expressed concern on silence of Christian leaders on prison of Joseph Francis who always raised voice for Christian rights and helped persecuted Christians.

The sources revealed that under fear CLAAS office in Lahore not issued any press release to inform situation of Joseph Francis to media or common Christian due to which majority of Pakistani Christian is unaware of situation.

PCC mailed a petition to President of Pakistan to intervene and withdraw cases against Joseph Francis because he was long time friend of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP which is leading partner in present collation government.

Nazir Bhatti urged Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Central Executive Council leaders to visit CLAAS offices Lahore to know facts and later to hold press conferences to invite attention of Human Right Commission of Pakistan, Civil Society leaders and Christian human right activists for campaign to release Joseph Francis.

According to Pakistan Christian Post PCP, Joseph Francis was sent to jail on July 12, 2009, after cancellation of his bail in a case filed against him in 2006, which was reported in Compass Direct, a media outlet in West.

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