Ramadan poisoning victims told to keep silent: The Church of England Newspaper, August 19, 2012 p 6. August 21, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan, Persecution.
Tags: Karachi, Ramadan
Nine Christian nurses hospitalized last month after allegedly being poisoned for violating the Ramadan fast in Karachi, have been warned that if they speak out they will be punished.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Capuchin Father Abid Habib, president of the Major Superiors Leadership Conference of the Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan stated the nurses were “warned that giving out information could result in hospital authorities slapping a court case on them, accusing them of taking drugs before drinking the tea.”
“We are still convinced that they were victims of religious intolerance,” Fr. Habib said. Police have launched an investigation into the 29 July poisonings of the student nurses at Karachi’s Civil Hospital. Supporters of the nurses claim that their decision not to participate in the dawn to dusk Ramadan fast angered Islamist extremists, who retaliated by poisoning their tea.
When the nurses returned to their hostel after their shift and made tea, they became ill and had to be hospitalized.
Nasreem Gill, the hospital’s chief nursing superintendent, told local newspapers that tests of the tea and blood samples from the nurses were being examined at the hospital’s laboratory and results were expected shortly.
The Catholic UCA news agency noted that Christian activists in Pakistan have claimed that the country’s Ramadan law, which bans eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the fasting hours, has been used to persecute Christians. Violations of the Ramadan law are subject to a three month prison sentence or fine.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.